My background

To be a politician was never an ambition of mine. As a child I wanted a job on John Craven’s Newsround and I trained as a newspaper journalist in my home city of Sheffield before landing my first job with Isle of Man Newspapers and moving to the Island in 1989. 

The Isle of Man was then enjoying a period of unparalleled growth, the finance sector was thriving and there was a buzz around the towns with a choice of theme bars and night clubs. Being a reporter was a great job that enabled me to gain insight into all walks of life. I’d be sitting in the House of Keys one day, at the TT Grandstand the next, or at the courts. Classic car rallies, bankers, inventors, bungee jumping – I wrote features about them all.

Move to civil service

I made the switch to public relations after seven years, starting at the Department of Tourism and Leisure in 1996 where I expanded the Island’s media coverage hugely. Highlights were working with the two BBC Top Gear programmes filmed on the Isle of Man, with Sir Norman Wisdom doing Wish You Were Here for ITV and the film premiere for Waking Ned. The film industry added to the buzz as the Island entered the new millennium. Following maternity leave I worked in a PR role at the Department of Home Affairs, then at the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure and, since 2014, as customer services team leader for the public transport division of the Department of Infrastructure.

I have lived in Maughold for 20 years with my husband Chris, who is well known as a local actor and musician. His roots in the parish can be traced back more than 140 years when his great grandparents were pupils at the Dhoon School, the same school our two children attend today.

So why now?

I am passionate about the Isle of Man and concerned about our future. The challenges facing us post-Brexit, and generally in light of the reduction in government revenues, need people who can represent the Island on an international stage and have the vision to work strategically with business and the community. I have watched with increasing unease as several long-serving politicians announced they were to retire from the House of Keys. To lose such a wealth of experience while we confront the twin dilemmas of Brexit and the public pension scheme deficit is unnerving and we need a government that is ready to embrace and capitalise on these changing times. It seems we are on the brink of a new era; we could sink or soar. I want to secure a positive future for the Island so here I am, seeking your vote on 22 September.

To download a full copy of my manifesto, click here.