'Proud transwoman' to stand for Brexit Party as next Grantham MP
A "proud transwoman" is standing for The Brexit Party as the next Grantham MP.
Jessica Swift lives near Ropsley with her wife Ella, and says her own gender journey means she will "always fight for equality and the rights of all groups in society".
While she has been very successful in business - now working as a director for Grantham-based trailer company Fruehauf Ltd - this is her first foray into politics.
The 52-year-old, who is also an accountant and systems analyst by profession, told the Journal: “I have never been in politics before. I have never stood for anything before.
"The Brexit Party is finding candidates from normal walks of life, like business. I applied and they selected me to run for Grantham and Stamford.”
Jessica says she struggled with her gender identity since an early age and made the difficult decision to transition in 2010. She completed the process within a couple of years and describes the process as the most challenging, profound and liberating of her life.
She added: “I feel so lucky to live in beautiful Lincolnshire, a safe and vibrant county which I would be proud to represent for The Brexit Party.
“I am a passionate supporter of education, which has the power to transform lives, and as a proud transwoman, I will always fight for equality and the rights of all groups in society.
“Working as the finance director of a large local manufacturer and software company has helped give me a strong understanding of how important business is as the engine of our economy.
“I am new to politics and hope to shake up Westminster. I am shocked by what has happened in Parliament since the referendum and believe our country is being betrayed.”
She said that whilst Grantham and Stamford is normally seen as a safe Conservative seat, the constituency voted strongly to leave.
She continued: “We are here to deliver Brexit. Other policies are being formulated as we speak.”
Noting Grantham and Stamford is the constituency of sitting MP Nick Boles, who left the Conservative Party to become an Independent over disagreements with his former party over Brexit, Jessica continued: “We have been betrayed by the MPs in general. I do not believe Boris will get us out of the EU and we will face a General Election. My bet is parliament will be voting no confidence in his government in September.”
Asked of her support for Brexit, clashed with what is typically a pro-Remain business community, she added: “The EU restricts this country. It stops us trading internationally in the way we would otherwise. It’s essentially a closed market and it makes us inefficient.
“This country is the greatest innovator the world has ever seen . We should be trading across the world. That’s why I’m a big supporter of us leaving the EU and us spreading our wings.”
Jessica is a keen art collector, theatre buff and private helicopter pilot, and runs a software company as well.
The Brexit Party's candidate announcement follows the Grantham and Stamford Conservatives last week announcing Yorkshireman Gareth Davies as their candidate for the constituency.
More by this authorDarren Greenwood