Election Special

Chris Bowers: Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion

May 1, 2015

Chris Bowers, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Brighton Pavilion is a writer and broadcaster, commentating on radio and TV for Eurosport, ESPN and internet media, and was a member of the BBC 5 Live team at Wimbledon for 12 years from 1994-2007.

Chris Bowers: Liberal Democratic Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion
Chris Bowers: Liberal Democratic Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion

CHRIS works in the environmental movement, has been a councillor on nearby Lewes District Council since 2007 and is Nick Clegg’s biographer.

He has always been interested in politics but says he decided to stand for election when he fully realised the importance of a healthy political system. His father came to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1938, his grandfather spent 12 days in a concentration camp but got out, so he has family experience of what can happen when people get too dismissive of politics.

He believes the biggest issue affecting everyone is the environment, because without a healthy environment everything else is secondary. He has chosen to make his contribution through the Lib Dems, not the Greens, because he says: “you have to take people with you”. Chris has lived just outside Brighton since 1998.

Chris’s position on the Stonewall Equality Manifesto: To download Manifesto, click here:

“Both I and my party are fully supportive of the LGBT agenda. We were the ones who pushed for same-sex relationships to be afforded marriage status, and we have argued for LGBT rights to be considered human rights with the same protection from abuse as other human rights.

Statutory PSHE and Sex and Relationships Education for primary and secondary schools in England: I have no problem supporting the four pillars of Stonewall’s equality manifesto. As the father of a 13-year-old I am fully supportive of compulsory PHSE teaching in secondary schools that incorporates sex and relationships education, in fact I believe the ground should be prepared in Year 6 as some children experience the onset of puberty before they leave primary school.

Combatting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime: Combatting hate crime against LGBT people is a given, and I fully support the right of trans-gender people to be themselves. This is consistent with the second and third sentences of the preamble to the Liberal Democrats’ constitution, which says: “We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.

I have two minor reservations, which are not strong enough to prevent me supporting the Stonewall manifesto. Firstly, I believe that any same-sex couple that has children has a moral obligation to establish access for their children to a steady role model of the opposite gender, as it is part of a child’s human rights to grow up in an environment in which they can build meaningful relationships with people of all walks of life, including both genders.

International Aid: Secondly, while I support the aspiration to embed LGBT equality into the way overseas aid is delivered, this must not happen at the cost of disrespecting the cultures of the countries set to benefit from such aid. This aspiration must take the form of encouraging a shift in perceptions, not to demonising those who have yet to discover the value of treating all people and all sexual orientations equally.”

Chris’s position on the future Commissioning of Health Services and how that affects the Sussex Beacon:

“The HIV voluntary sector in Brighton provides a vital service, and this must not be allowed to carry an unfair burden in dealing with HIV in the city. Agencies such as the Sussex Beacon have done some great work, but they too cannot carry the burden alone. It is vital that they be funded to work in tandem with the NHS – the NHS provides the hospital care, but much HIV care must be carried out in the community, and for that, groups like Sussex Beacon, Lunch Positive and others must be part of an integrated effort. Brighton has an above-average rate of HIV, and therefore needs an above-average level of funding. It should not feel it is seeking preferential treatment by asking for it.”

For a full list of candidates standing in Brighton Pavilion, click here: