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Katherine West


Katherine West
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Name: Katherine West
Avatar: Heidi Allen
Age: 46
Sex: Female
Ethnicity: White
Marital Status: Married
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

Party: Conservative
Political Outlook: Politically moderate, pro-Cameron.
Constituency: Watford
Year Elected: 2007

Education: Attended a grammar school, studied History at Oxford University
Career: Initially trained as a teacher and taught history at secondary school level until the mid 1990s. She became active in local politics after leaving her job to have a child, but after an unsuccessful run at Parliament in 1997 returned to teaching. She became the Headteacher of the Watford Grammar School for Girls in 2003, but left the role in 2006 to pursue further work in politics.
Political Career: Labour councillor in Uxbridge 1995-1998. Unsuccesfully stood for Parliament for Labour in 1997 in Uxbridge on an AWS, narrowly missing out by 700 votes in what had been a safe Conservative seat. Became quickly disillusioned by Labour government; left the party in 2003 as a result of the Iraq War but has said that "I left in principle years before". After moving back to Watford she was apolitical until after the 2005 election at which point she joined the Conservative Party. She intended to simply run for council and was touted locally as an example of the Conservative Party's outreach beyond traditional voters in a key three-way marginal seat. However, in July 2007 the Conservative candidate for Watford was dropped and an urgent need for a candidate was needed for the snap election. Katherine had not intended to put her name forward, but Cameron's team pushed her to stand for the local election in this key marginal seat, believing her local links and defection from Labour would appeal to local voters in the three-way marginal. Her nomination was naturally controversial with the local Conservative Association, with whom she has a bit of a rocky relationship, but she was nonetheless elected, unseating Labour.

Katherine West

Conservative MP for Watford (2007 - )

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