A Romanian born Cambridgeshire councillor hopes to be the Labour candidate for the new Huntingdon seat at the next General Election. And according to Electoral Calculus, a political forecasting web site, Labour is favourite to win.
It would be a massive step up for Cllr Bulat who announced her bid to become Labour’s candidate today.
She posted to X, formerly Twitter, “After too many years of Tory Government, we need a new hope for Huntingdon, St Ives, our towns, villages, and hamlets.
“But don’t just hope for a better future – vote for one.”
Cllr Bulat is a county councillor for Abbey ward, Cambridge, and earlier this year was appointed as Cambridgeshire’s first migrant and refugee champion.
The council described it as “part of a wide series of actions intended to make Cambridgeshire a welcoming place for people who have come here from abroad”.
Cllr Bulat has always said she “never thought or planned to be a local politician.
“But my experiences as a migrant in the UK, facing various difficulties myself and seeing injustices others faced, changed me from a non-voter to a local council candidate within a few years.
“When I moved to the UK from Romania in 2012, I was 18 years old, and I remember struggling to understand my flatmates speaking in English.
“Eight years later, I had a PhD in Political Sociology and became a British citizen”.
She says: “During my first few years in the UK, I did not even know I had the right to vote, let alone stand, in local elections as an EU migrant.
🌹 I'm standing to be @UKLabour's Parliamentary candidate for Huntingdon. 🌹
After too many years of Tory Government, we need a #NewHopeForHuntingdon, St Ives, our towns, villages & hamlets.
But don't just hope for a better future – vote for one.
— Dr Alex Bulat (@LabourAlexB) December 8, 2023
“I became engaged in politics in 2017, after realising how decisions made in politics affect my rights directly. Since then, I have been a vocal migrants’ rights campaigner.
“I worked in a variety of part-time and temporary jobs in the charitable sector, university teaching, academic and non-academic research and more.
“I joined the Labour Party in 2017, the same year I got involved in migrants’ rights campaigning. I joined as a migrant who wants to see local politics better reflect the communities it represents. I
“In 2021, I was proud to become the first Romanian-born Labour county councillor representing a part of the city I call home.”
Cllr Bulat says: “I also joined the party as a young-ish woman who struggled for quite a while to have a good standard of living.
“I moved to Cambridge in 2015 and worked throughout my studies. I still work long hours alongside my council duties and live in a small studio, but I know I am very privileged, compared to many of friends who are much worse hit by the cost-of-living crisis.
“I joined Labour to contribute to a fairer society, where no one should be forced to choose between heating their flat or buying food.”
Cllr Bulat says as a migrants’ rights campaigner, “I want to ensure that all residents’ rights are protected, regardless of where they come from”.
She says: “What I enjoy most about local politics is listening to residents and being able to support positive change.
“Local politicians are representatives of an area – they are not there because they know better, but to listen to residents and represent their views.
“I am very grateful to be able to listen, learn and then act. Since being elected, I door knock every week on a different street – not just at election time.
“Even if I speak with just a handful of residents in an evening, that is invaluable for me, as I can get direct feedback on consultations that are live, thoughts on my plans as councillor and pick up casework that makes the difference to residents’ everyday life.”
Cllr Bulat believes Labour “has real power now in the county council after Tory control ended following the May 2021 elections.
Coffee, Buses and Politics https://t.co/9K3LqNLAn6
— Dr Alex Bulat (@alexandrabulat) December 8, 2023
“Part of the joint administration, Labour is implementing many of our manifesto promises: we extended free school meals for all eligible Cambridgeshire children, we put £20 straight into the pocked of every benefit claimant in the county, we committed more funding for libraries, we adopted a climate strategy for a net zero council by 2030 and we implemented a council tax exemption for care leavers. T
“These are just a few of the many achievements.”
After her appointment as migrant and refugee champion, she said: “Cambridgeshire has a proud record of accommodating and supporting people from all backgrounds, including many who have fled persecution and have come to the UK seeking safety.
“I cannot begin to imagine the horrors that people seeking safety in the UK have seen, and it is only right that we support them as they attempt to rebuild their lives.
“This can only happen if they do not live with the constant fear of deportation, which is why the county council will do all it can to protect asylum seekers and refugees and will urge our partners to do the same.
“And by creating a new migrant advocate position and pushing for a Council of Sanctuary recognition, we are showing our commitment as a tolerant, compassionate county.”