The politician’s husband and daughter

Karen has very kindly allowed me to do a guest post on her blog about the glamorous life of a politician’s husband (and daughter).

On Thursday Karen was out braving the scorching hot temperatures driving around Wetherby and Harewood wards meeting and talking to local Labour Party members. Meanwhile back at home it was Esme’s and my job to prepare more than 300 mailshots with a copy of Karen’s latest newsletter for members. That meant printing labels, folding newsletters, stuffing them into envelopes, sticking on address labels and finally sticking the stamps. A glamorous life indeed, although she is treating me to a night out at the Lord Mayor’s charity ‘beach party’ later this month.

Esme was fantastic and stuck on most of the stamps, although her stacking the finished envelopes into piles perhaps didn’t perhaps go quite to plan.

Esme sticking stamps on Karen Bruce's Elmet and Rothwell mailing to members

A less than neat pile of envelopes to go to Elmet and Rothwell members






Esme’s quote of the day was:

“This is fun! Most kids don’t have mums who are councillors so they can’t have this much fun.”

Can’t honestly say I’d agree totally with her as the alternatives I offered her were using her paddling pool in the garden or playing with the knights in her castle.

And finally I just need to say an enormous thanks to Royal Mail. Our second class mailing intended to arrive on Saturday or Monday morning actually reached some members on Friday! Despite being posted after 7:00pm at Royal Mail’s huge Stourton depot.  Now that’s fantastic service by a profitable public sector company. It’s one more reason why we should fight to keep the Royal Mail in public ownership and stop the Tories flogging it off on the cheap.

You won’t normally hear from me, but if you’re interested in communications, public relations and political campaigning then take a look at my blog at

Wetherby member backs me for Elmet and Rothwell

Huge thanks to my latest Elmet and Rothwell parliamentary selection supporter Shaquille Clarke from Wetherby:

Shaquille“A strong local candidate with deep local roots is a must if Labour is to defeat Alec Shelbrooke next year. I believe Karen Bruce is that person, and I would recommend giving her your support in order for her to become our Labour candidate.”

First branch nominations 100% success

Tonight the first two Labour Party branches in Elmet and Rothwell constituency held their nomination meetings and I’m delighted and honoured to say I secured a clean sweep by receiving nominations from both Harewood branch and Wetherby branch. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported me. That’s five nominations I’ve received so far.

Elmet and Rothwell selection for Labour’s Parliamentary candidate

I have been asked by local Labour Party members to put my name forward to be selected as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the new constituency of Elmet and Rothwell.The constituency contains most of the old constituency of Elmet (currently represented by Colin Burgon MP), as well as all of the Rothwell ward from the old Morley and Rothwell constituency (Colin Challen MP) and parts of Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton MP).

I’m humbled and honoured by the support and encouragement that I’ve received from members right across the constituency from Wetherby in the north, through to Garforth, Swillington and Methley, and of course my own ward of Rothwell. I’ve lived in the constituency and have been an active Labour Party campaigner here for most of my adult life. I’ve lived in Methley and Swillington and now live in Carlton, Rothwell with my husband Stuart and little girl Esme (who we’ve just signed up to attend our local school).

Elmet and Rothwell has a proud Labour history, rich in industry, culture and tradition. It is a constituency that Labour must win if we are to protect all that we have achieved since 1997 – and if we are to achieve even more in the future.

Finally I’d again like to thank Colin Burgon MP for all his dedicated service to the the local Labour Party and our local communities. For 26 years – through good times and bad – he has dedicated his life to working for us. I bring enthusiasm, passion, experience, commitment and bags of energy to continue to unite the local Labour Party and ensure we keep campaigning to win Elmet and Rothwell.

How Brits are using #welovetheNHS to support Obama

Karen Bruce campaigning for Barack ObamaLast October I went on holiday to Philadelphia, which is in Pennsylvania and was one of the key states that Barack Obama needed to win. We ended up as a bit of a busman’s holiday as we spent a good bit of time campaigning for Obama. For the holiday we did a house swap with a couple in Philadelphia so we ended up volunteering in the local Fishtown office of the Democrats. What was most amazing is how similar it was canvassing the streets of Philadelphia to doing the same in places like Garforth, Methley, Swillington, Rothwell and Wetherby.The picture is me and Esme preparing to set out to do some good old-fashioned door knocking.

You hear some amazing and moving stories on the doorstep. In one house we visited the mother and grandmother were adamant they weren’t going to bother voting because “all politicians are the same”. After I’d spoken to them for a while we discovered that the grandfather was plagued with health problems and couldn’t afford the treatment he really needed. I explained that all politicians weren’t the same and that one of Obama’s main commitments was healthcare reform to give families like theirs a fair opportunity to receive the same healthcare that in the USA only the privileged can afford. I was so excited when I realised that my arguments had succeeded and that the whole family had pledged to support Obama!

President Obama (I still get goose bumps when I say it) is now fighting right-wing Republicans to get his healthcare reform plans enacted. The Republicans are resorting to every dirty trick in the book and are launching vicious attacks on our NHS, claiming that it’s “socialist” healthcare and it doesn’t give people the care they’d get under America’s private system. The Republicans are running nasty TV ads full of lies attacking the NHS.

Yesterday an amazing thing happened and a guy called Graham Lineham decided to use the internet and people power to fight back. Graham is better known as the award winning comedy writer behind Father Ted and The IT Crowd. He started a hash tag on Twitter called #welovetheNHS, within hours it was the most talked about topic on Twitter as thousands and thousands of people starting sharing their stories of how the NHS had helped them. The Labour Party has now put together a fantastic little widget that means you can display these moving stories on your website or Facebook. As well as showing it below I’ve created a special page for it here.