Goan leaders, activists campaigned at UK polls

LUI GODINHO | JULY 05, 2024, 11:25 PM IST


LONDON

A growing number of Goans around the UK in recent years have become involved in local and national politics, either as candidates or as party workers. The UK general elections on July 4 witnessed a number of Goans actively campaigning for candidates across different parties. Some of them shared experiences of their recent campaign trail and the poll issues they had raised.

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LABOUR PARTY

JOYCE DE SOUZA AND ELVIS FERNANDES
North West London


Joyce de Souza and her husband, Elvis Fernandes, are local leaders for the Labour Party. Elvis is a General Committee (GC) delegate of the Constituency of the Labour Party (CLP) and Joyce is an Election Committee and General Committee delegate as well as CLP Women’s Officer in the Labour Party of Brent West Parliamentary Constituency, an area in North West London.

CAMPAIGN

Joyce and Elvis had been campaigning for Barry Gardiner, Labour Party candidate for Brent West Parliamentary Constituency. 

“We conducted leafleting and canvassing sessions in Wembley. We also used social media and WhatsApp to inform people to vote for Labour,” said Joyce.

“As an Election Committee delegate and CLP Women Officer, I attended online meetings to discuss election plans or canvassing strategies and plans.”

POLL ISSUES

Joyce said she had written to Barry Gardiner and also discussed about the Indian minor’s passport renewal issue when one parent is a foreign national and the other is an Indian.

Elvis added that the long waiting list to get NHS appointments and medical treatment in time has affected all communities, including the Goan community.

“If the Labour government comes into power, this situation is likely to change. The Labour government will work on creating new job opportunities too. The Goan community especially the people who are new to the country are affected by this,’ said Elvis.

“The Labour government supports welfare schemes like universal credit, disability benefits, PIP, etc. which are much needed by the people in need or the vulnerable.”

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ANA FERNANDES AND PRINCIA FERNANDES
Swindon


Ana Fernandes is a Councillor for Rodbourne and Cheney, while Princia Fernandes is Councillor for Gorse Hill & Pinehurst in the Swindon Council. They have been actively supporting the Labour Party in the UK elections. 

CAMPAIGN

Ana said she and Princia had been working together to campaign for Labour Party. 

“In the run-up to the elections, our campaigning efforts included house visits by going door-to-door, engaging with residents to discuss their concerns and share the Labour Party's vision and policies,” said Ana.

“We were also active on social media by using platforms like Facebook to reach a broader audience, share updates, and interact with supporters online.” 

POLL ISSUES

Princia said they focused on four important issues which mattered to most to them and the community.

“On healthcare, we campaigned for better funding and resources for the NHS to ensure quality healthcare for all,” said Princia.

“On education, we campaigned  for improved education systems and opportunities for young people. On the economic equality front, we campaigned towards reducing income inequality and ensuring fair wages and job opportunities.”

Added Ana: “On environment, we focused on promoting policies that address climate change and support sustainable practices.” 

“By actively participating in these campaigns, we aim to make a positive impact and support the Labour Party's goals for a better future.” 

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CONSERVATIVE PARTY

MICHAEL BEVAN D’SILVA
Hounslow


Michael Bevan D’Silva had been actively campaigning for Dr Reva Gudi, Conservative Party candidate for Felthem/Heston and Hounslow West.

CAMPAIGN 

Michael said his campaign had included posts on social media as well as interacting with Goan business restaurants in Hounslow West. 

POLL ISSUES

Commenting on the issues he had campaigned during the elections, Michael said the problems confronting Goan businesses, ways to support the Goan community, awareness on domestic violence, childcare and healthcare assistance.

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SALVADOR PEREIRA
Hounslow


Salvador Pereira had been actively campaigning for Dr Reva Gudi, Conservative Party candidate for Felthem/Heston and Hounslow West.

CAMPAIGN

Salvador said his campaign included home visits with the candidate, social media and videos.

POLL ISSUES

Salvador said he had campaigned on four key issues during the elections.

“These four issues included the NHS and long waits for any appointments related to even emergency cases, social housing issues for the local community, lack of employment facilities and parking problems in new buildings and parking fines,” said Salvador.

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LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

RABI MARTINS
Watford


Rabi Martins is a key member of the Liberal Democrat’s Party National and local campaigning team.

CAMPAIGN

Rabi said his campaign trail included calling on households and speaking in person to registered voters to identify the voting intentions. 

“If someone was undecided, we highlighted the key Lib Dem policies on Health Services, Housing, and the Environment. I also supported our candidate at Hustings (public meetings). This included asking questions designed to create an opportunity for the Lib Dem candidate to highlight our party strengths and expose opposition party weaknesses,” said Rabi.

“We also persuaded households to display Lib Dem window posters and garden poster boards. I was also active with posts on social media.”

POLL ISSUES

Rabi highlighted a number of issues during his campaign for the Lib Dem party.

“The key issues for me personally are the cost-of-living challenges for low-income families. A high proportion of these low-income families happen to be from Black and Asian backgrounds,” said Rabi.

“The other major issue that came up is the UK government’s position on the Israel/Palestine conflict, the level of homelessness and child poverty, lack of investment in Mental Health Services and support particularly for young people and students.”




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