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Kayla Gray


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Name: Kayla Gray

Avatar: Caroline Konstnar

Date of Birth: 4th August 1996

Sex: Female

Marital Status: Single

Sexual Orientation: Openly Bisexual

Party: Labour

Political Outlook: Momentum (also close ties to SCG obviously)

Constituency: Hackney South & Shoreditch

Year Elected: 2019

 

Education: University College London, studied History

Career: Young Labour and RLB staffer

Political Career: MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch (2019-), Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs (2020)

 

Bio:

Kayla Gray was born on August 4th 1996 in Islington, London. She is the oldest of three children, with her two brothers aged nineteen and seventeen. Kayla’s family has lived in Islington all her life, with her mother being a nurse originally from Sweden and her father a police officer who was originally from Dublin. Kayla’s family were financially comfortable enough to get by but were by no means wealthy. Aged 7, she attended the anti-Iraq invasion march in London on February 15th 2003, being carried on her father’s shoulders.

Kayla attended a local comprehensive school in Islington. In school, she took a strong interest in the humanities subjects from a young age and enjoyed English. At GCSE her highest grades were in History, French, Geography and English. At A-Level she chose to study Politics, Economics and History, achieving an AAB in her final examinations with the B coming in economics. She subsequently went on to study history at university.

Whilst Kayla’s first political experience was the STWC march in 2003, she first became actively politically engaged in her early teen years, joining the Labour Party in 2011. Subsequently, she became a very active member of the Islington North CLP, where her views were formed to that of a more left-wing persuasion within the party. As well as being involved in campaign events and social activities in the community, Kayla also does charity work in her local community, namely volunteering at her nearest foodbank. Kayla also worked in a local theatre whilst studying at university.

Kayla supported Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership in 2015, claiming on Twitter that Labour needs a “radical, progressive, socialist path to power to revolutionise Britain in favour of the working people, not the rich elites”. She did not vote for any of the final five deputy leadership candidates.

Kayla supported remaining in the EU in order to reform, but following the referendum result, believed that the decision to leave should be honoured. However, she would later go on to support a confirmatory second referendum.

During the chicken coup in 2016, Kayla referred to those working against Corbyn as “traitors and snakes trying to deliberately undermine the electoral chances of a Labour Party true to its principles” on Twitter. When Corbyn won his second landslide victory, Kayla called the result a “crushing defeat for the Blairites and saboteurs”

In January 2017, Kayla began to work at Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency office where she worked before being appointed as a staffer by Young Labour NEC Rep Lara McNeil in 2018, she worked in this post until February 2019 when she was appointed as a staffer to Rebecca Long-Bailey as Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary. In 2019, she was selected as the Labour candidate for the Hackney South & Shoreditch constituency, which she won in the December 2019 General Election, a night she described as “greatly disappointing and a huge missed opportunity for our country”. In the January 2020 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, Kayla was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs, an area she had covered whilst working for Long-Bailey.

In the 2020 Labour leadership election, Gray nominated and endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon. Following the election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader, she resigned from her ministerial post.

Following Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report and subsequent expulsion from the Labour Party, Kayla said “Jeremy’s statement was poorly worded but it was absolutely not grounds for him to be removed from the party” and also called upon Corbyn to “more clearly apologise for the mismanagement of the antisemitism crisis”. Kayla has repeatedly called for Corbyn to be reinstated to the Parliamentary Labour Party, calling Starmer’s decision “blatant factionalism”.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, with her favourite book being ‘Notes from Underground’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and watching football (in which she supports Arsenal) as well as doing art. Kayla’s mother is Jewish but Kayla is religiously atheist, referring to herself as a "pretty secular Jew".

Kayla Gray

MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch (2019-)

Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs (2020)

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