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Ealing North Labour candidate James Murray on why he wants to be re-elected as MP

On 4 July 2024, the UK electorate goes to the polls to vote for who they want as their Member of Parliament. 

EALING.NEWS has asked all candidates standing in the three Ealing constituencies of Ealing Central and Acton, Ealing North and Ealing Southall 7 questions about who they are, what they hope to deliver and why they want residents to vote for them.

James Murray standing for Labour in Ealing North answers the 7 questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your priorities for the constituency and why you want to be the next member of Parliament for Ealing North?
I grew up and live in Ealing North, and it was the honour of my life to be elected as its Member of Parliament in 2019. I am standing for re-election because I want to keep working to make life better for people who live here, and I believe it is time to change the government in our country.

I speak to people every day in Greenford, Perivale, Northolt, West Ealing, Pitshanger, or Hanwell who are finding life tough. First and foremost, my priority is to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, so that people in Ealing North do not have to be so worried about making ends meet, or whether they will be able afford the next set of bills, mortgage payments, or rents.

I know this is something we can only solve with a change nationally and so, as a shadow Treasury minister, I have been helping develop Labour’s plans to get the economy growing and to keep taxes, inflation, and mortgages as low as possible.

If we have a Labour government, my priorities are also to cut NHS waiting lists; for more social and council housing, and homes for first-time buyers; to crack down on anti-social behaviour; and to bring down energy bills for people through Great British Energy – a new, publicly-owned clean power company.

I will also keep campaigning for what we need locally here. In the last few years, I have been pressing for a limit on new HMOs – and hopefully we are getting close to that happening. I want to get new banking hubs in areas where bank branches have closed and, although we have had setbacks, I very much hope our campaign to get the Black Horse pub open again will one day succeed.

What motivates you?
I like fixing problems. I have always been like that – I remember when I was a child, my parents said I would always try to fix things and find solutions to problems.

Today, when I see things across our country that are not working as they should, or when I meet people in Ealing North who struggling or not getting a fair deal, my instinct is to try and find a fair and effective solution. That’s what has motivated me on every day that I’ve been an MP.

Since I was elected in 2019, I have been in touch with or helped support local people over 30,000 times. We have had some successes – like when I managed to get Boots to open one of their first covid vaccination centres in London here in Greenford. But I know that to really take on some of the big challenges we face, we need a change of government.

That is an important part of what motivates me during this general election. I want to keep working to make life better for people who live here, and I believe it is time to change the government in our country so that we can really improve people’s lives.

What is your own personal connection to either Ealing North or any other part of the borough?
I grew up off Argyle Road in West Ealing, with my mum who was a Labour councillor here for four years. My grandparents lived 10 minutes’ walk away, also in Ealing North. I spent a lot of time with them as a child. My grandmother first got me interested in the Labour Party, when I would join her to deliver leaflets in the local area.

It was a huge honour to be elected in 2019 to represent the area where I grew up and where I live today. My grandparents have sadly passed away – but I still think of them often, and I sometimes imagine them willing me on when I’m speaking in Parliament or campaigning for the Labour Party.

When I walk through Horsenden Hill today, I remember going kite-flying there as a young boy. When I go to Tesco in Perivale on my way home, I remember how my grandmother used to take me there when I was little for a full English breakfast for 99p(!). When I go to Blue Ocean on Pitshanger Lane, I remember how my friend and I used to get chips there after school.

It is such a privilege to represent the area that I have known my whole life, and it really drives me to do all I can to make our local area better, and to make life better for everyone who lives here.

What do you consider to be your 5 top political or personal achievements and what impact have they had?
In my previous job, I was London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing. I set up the first-ever City Hall programme dedicated to building new council housing. We got the rate of council homebuilding up to its highest in 30 years. I believe that made a real difference to thousands of families across London – including many here in Ealing North.

When I was elected as an MP, we went into covid lockdown after just a few months. It was a tough time for everyone. When the vaccines became available, I was really concerned there were no vaccination sites in Greenford. I got on the phone to Boots and the NHS, and I got them to agree to open one of Boots’ first vaccination centres in London here in Westway retail park.

in 2019, I ran the Ealing Half Marathon to raise money for Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter. It was a personal achievement to complete the run – after about 10 or 11 miles, I was definitely flagging! More importantly, the money I raised helped install a shower that guests could use at one of the night shelters.

In Parliament, we’ve been in Opposition since I was elected. But as a shadow Treasury minister, I have been pressing the Government to do the right thing. When the energy bills crisis hit, we pushed for a windfall tax to help reduce people’s bills. The Government initially opposed our plans, but eventually gave in.

Finally, I have a neurological condition called ‘myasthenia gravis’ which began in my mid-20s. I had bad symptoms for several years, of tiring muscle weakness in my face, arms, and legs. But thanks to the NHS I am now symptom-free. Getting through those difficult years of my life was an important personal achievement for me.

What do you consider to be the top 5 challenges Ealing North faces and how will you as the MP address them?
Housing is a huge challenge for so many people in Ealing North. Too often people face rents or mortgages they cannot afford, and live in inadequate or overcrowded homes. I will keep pushing for more social and council housing, as well as homes for first-time buyers. I also believe we need to give private renters a better deal.

The NHS is under enormous strain here in Ealing North. I believe we need an immediate injection of funding to bring down the waiting times. I have helped to develop plans to crack down on tax avoidance to help pay for this. In the longer run, we need to improve the NHS to make it fit for the future, and we need to focus on social care too.

Crime, anti-social behaviour, and fly-tipping affect people’s lives badly in Ealing North. I often raise this with the council, and I believe we need more local neighbourhood police. We would fund more police, paid for by cutting wasteful procurement, and set up a new network of youth hubs.

Energy bills have been putting real pressure on people in Ealing North. We need to bring them down for good, which is why we would set up Great British Energy as a new, publicly-owned clean power company. The shift to homegrown renewable energy would also help with our energy security and tackling climate change.

Finally, people are feeling the squeeze. With lower wages and higher taxes, it is too hard for many people to make ends meet. We need to change that by getting our economy growing, ending the years of chaos we have had to endure. We need that to help fund public services, and to keep taxes, inflation, and mortgages as low as possible.

What do you love about the borough of Ealing?
I think the two things I love most about Ealing North are the people and the green spaces. I love the fact that my friends, neighbours, and colleagues – as well as people I’ve met through my job – come from all walks of life and have connections to so many places and cultures from around the world.

Having such a mix of people here makes life interesting. It means people are accepting of difference, whilst also having shared values, such as wanting the best for our families, wanting to make sure everyone plays by the rules, and wanting the best for our local area.

There is also such a strong sense of community in Ealing North – whether it’s people volunteering at Ealing Foodbank, getting involved with HAAGA and the Horsenden Grape and Honey Farm, going along to Hanwell Town Football Club, or running the Wood End Residents’ Association who always put on such a legendary Christmas lunch for people in the local area.

I also love the green spaces in Ealing North. I go for a long run every weekend (or almost every weekend…). I love the fact that, despite living in London, I can do almost all of my run surrounded by greenery. I regularly run through Pitshanger Park, Perivale Park, and Brent Valley Park – and last year I ran for the NHS’s anniversary in Northala Fields and Rectory Park.

If it’s a warm spring or summer day, I love the fact that I can go to Horsenden Hill for a walk, maybe walk along the canal, and then drop in for a drink at the Perivale Brewery.

How accessible will you be to Ealing North residents and how can they get in contact with you now and if elected how will you ensure you are accessible to them in the future?
Throughout the general election campaign, and if I am re-elected, I will keep doing all I can to meet and listen to as many people in Ealing North as possible.

I will be out and about every day of this election. I find having face-to-face conversation is the best way to connect with people, and I am also contactable on email and phone – the details are at

After I was elected in 2019, and once we got through the lockdowns, I was very keen to open a new constituency office, which I did in North Greenford. I hold weekly appointment surgeries in my office, as well as holding coffee mornings every few weeks in different parts of Ealing North.

One of my favourite activities as an MP has been to visit schools or have pupils come into Parliament – I always get a clear idea from them of what they think is most important! I also get a good idea of what local people are thinking when we have a chat on the bus, in the supermarket, in a café, or on the street.

I believe I can only be a good MP when I know what the people I represent are thinking about – and so being accessible is, for me, an absolutely essential part of the job.

Click here for all Ealing North candidates standing.

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