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  • Harriet Main

CYW Candidate Profile - Nina Watson

"Conservative Young Women have been a fantastic support. The access to training and events has been great but more useful still is the connection to other women."

Nina Watson lives in Hampton with her husband Howard, their two young children and their labradoodle. Nina loves spending time outdoors and enjoys gardening. Nina is a classically trained musician and dancer and is passionate about the performing arts. One of the things she has missed most in this last year is being able to go to the theatre. Why did you get involved in Conservative Young Women?

I am standing in a local council by-election as a candidate. CYW are really supportive and encouraging of new candidates. It’s also nice for me to be connected to other women with similar political views. Living in London and working in media I know few people that vote Conservative or share my views on society. In that regard, engaging with a peer group like CYW has been a very affirming experience.

How have Conservative Young Women supported you in standing?

CYW have been a fantastic support. The access to training and events has been great but more useful still is the connection to other women in a similar position. Being able to discuss campaigning ideas and learn from other’s experiences as well as having the constant support has been very encouraging.

What kind of jobs have you had in the past?

My career has been in media communications. I have always been interested in people, our behaviour and how we interact in society. I am looking to pursue a masters in Digital Media and Culture. The internet has transformed our society in many delightful and unexpected ways but not all of it has been positive. How we navigate these changes going forward is incredibly important and an area of particular interest for me. How do you think we can encourage more young women into politics?

I think that a lot of talented men and women are put off politics by the verbal abuse, threats and smears that people in public life are subjected to. This is a great shame for all of us. I think we all need to make a concerted effort to raise the tone of societal discourse. It’s also imperative that we maintain critical thinking, reason and focus on the argument rather than the ‘identity’ of the person making the argument. I think if we could show progress in this regard, many more women would consider politics a viable career choice.

Why did you decide to stand to be a local Councillor?

I have always been interested in and wanted to be involved in politics. I think we focus our attention and media coverage on Westminster politics but so many of the services that people rely on are managed at a local level. I think that local councillors are much more important than most people realise and can make really positive changes for local people. Above all, I want to be of service to my local community. What would you like to achieve as a Councillor?

I want to be available and accessible to local people. So many local councillors are uncontactable or ignore queries from people in their ward. I want to be the opposite of that: to be present and listen and serve wherever possible.

How are you going to communicate with your constituents?

The restrictions of the pandemic make campaigning very challenging at the moment. I am posting regularly to social media channels, making phone calls and sending weekly emails. I’m also hosting regular zoom meetings where local residents can come and challenge me or raise local issues. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected, I would like to keep my social media presence up so that local people have an easy way to reach out for help.

Fun Questions

If you could have dinner with any three people, who would it be?

I definitely need more than 3 guests! Nelson Mandela, Oscar Wilde and George Orwell.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Having a young family means I don’t get a lot of ‘me time’ so I make the most of it when I do! I enjoy listening to political podcasts, playing piano and reading.

What is your current favourite Netflix show?

I loved The Queen’s Gambit!

If you went on Mastermind, what would your subject be?

I think it would have to be something related to classical music, perhaps the works of Debussy.

Who’s your role model/political hero?

If I could only choose one it would have to be Ken Clarke. We do not share the same views on some issues but what I admire the most is the courage of his convictions and his integrity. Another would be Baroness Trumpington. I loved reading her autobiography: her sense of humour and zest for life is infectious. I would love for my children to feel the same way about my life and legacy.

Conservative Young Women are dedicated to encouraging and supporting young women in the Conservative Party. We are on a mission to get more women into public office at every level and we provide support to anyone who wants to stand.

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