Jane was selected to fight the Battersea seat, which includes parts of Balham and Wandsworth, in September 2006. Originally from Yorkshire, Jane moved to London in 1986 when she graduated from Oxford University, where she'd first got involved in politics. She has worked for the John Lewis Partnership for 23 years, starting as a graduate trainee on the shopfloor and currently managing the John Lewis customer magazine, Edition.
Jane and her partner John live near Clapham Junction in the constituency and support various local groups including the Friends of Battersea Park and the Battersea Summer Scheme. Jane has always got involved in her community; when she lived in north London she founded and ran a successful music festival and she is currently a governor at Honeywell Infant and
Junior Schools in Battersea. Away from politics Jane enjoys country walking with friends and has walked the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast long distance paths. She is a member of a chamber choir and is also a season ticket holder at Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Having spent her working life with John Lewis Jane believes her business experience and the values she has learnt in that time will stand her in good stead in politics. Over her career she has led teams of professional staff and managed significant budgets and for some years Jane represented the John Lewis Partnership on the Industry and Parliament Trust. In 2004 she spent a six month professional secondment with the music charity Sing for Pleasure of which she is now a Trustee.
An experienced candidate, Jane first stood for a Parliamentary election when she fought a by-election in Barnsley in December 1996. Before moving south of the river, she twice served as a local councillor in the London Borough of Barnet, chaired her residents' group and was a board member of a Housing Association for over 10 years.
Jane was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Health in October 2013.
Campaigning in Battersea, Balham and Wandsworth
As the Conservative candidate, over the last 3 years Jane has campaigned vigorously against local Post Office closures, the further expansion of Heathrow and the closure and under utilisation of the Bolingbroke hospital site. She has run mass participation campaigns to enable more people to take part in public consultations and always made a formal submission to these consultations presenting the evidence she has gathered. This is despite sharing the public's growing scepticism that many of the Government's consultations are often a sham, wasting the public's time and money in the process.
Ahead of the spring 2008 budget Jane presented a dossier to the Chancellor of the Exchequer with evidence of the harmful effect on many of her local small businesses of a hike in their business rates. The hikes have continued, with often disastrous effects; if elected, Jane will continue to campaign for a fairer deal on business rates for small businesses in her area.
Battersea's many young professionals, often working long hours in demanding jobs, need local services that respond to their needs. Jane launched a transport newsletter Commuter News to keep people informed about issues that affect them and to lobby for the better local train services and stations promised by Network Rail and the train operators. Through surveys she has pinpointed the times and places younger residents most want to see the police out and about and Jane has consistently pushed her local Primary Care Trust to make healthcare in the area more flexible and responsive; people shouldn't have to miss a day at work to get to the doctor. She is currently asking the public for their views on the opening times of a new local health centre.
Since autumn 2009 Jane has been actively supporting the Neighbourhood School Campaign which is interested in setting up a state secondary school in the South Battersea area. As a believer in practical politics, not just knocking the other side, Jane has also run non-party political campaigns on issues like ID Fraud, a growing problem in the Battersea area.
The planned redevelopment of the iconic Battersea Power Station and the New Covent Garden Market, plus the new American Embassy, is all part of the regeneration of the Nine Elms area of Battersea. Jane has actively supported these projects as a candidate and will do all she can if elected as Battersea's MP to encourage new homes and jobs in Nine Elms.