A man who blew the whistle on poor care for the elderly at a South Shields nursing home is aiming to fly the flag for socialism at next month’s local elections.
Phil Brown is standing for the Independent Socialist Party in the town’s Horsley Hill ward on Thursday, May 22.
Born and raised on “The Hill”, the 59-year-old married father-of-two is the son of Cathy Brown, a former Labour mayor of South Tyneside.
In 2005, the NHS nurse of 37 years raised concerns at failings in care given to residents at the privately-owned Bamburgh Court Care Home in South Shields.
And last year he stood for MP in a Parliamentary by-election after the resignation of Labour’s David Miliband, finishing in fifth place with 776 votes.
Although he retains a warmth towards Labour, he has grown disillusioned with the party and is unconvinced its leader Ed Miliband can lead it to victory at next year’s General Election.
On a local level he will be campaigning on the need for extra traffic calming meaures, parking spaces and police and warden patrols in Horsley Hill.
In South Shields generally his concerns lie with the “collapse of commerce” in the retail centre of King Street and the town centre, but he remains supportive of the ‘South Shields 365’ masterplan to regenerate the area.
Mr Brown, of Leafield Crescent, South Shields, said he was hopeful he could make an impact next month.
“This is me going back to my roots. Ironically, it was my mother who helped make Horsley Hill a Labour stronghold by helping see-off the Progressives.
“Part of me will always be Labour but I honestly don’t think Ed Miliband has what it takes.
“I’m not afraid to use the word ‘socialism’. That’s what the Labour Party was built on.”
The other candidates standing in Horsley Hill are: Eileen Leask (Labour); Marilyn Huartt (Conservative) and Kelly Anne Loftus (UKIP).
Source – Shields Gazette 29 April 2014