In an apparent first for the Conservative party, a trans person is standing in the European Parliamentary elections this year.
Sue Pascoe is a candidate for Yorkshire and the Humber, in the Northeast of England. But she enters the race at a time where Brexit looms after its postponement to 31 October.
With a background in chartered accountancy and management consultancy, Pascoe’s policies focus on social mobility, curbing hate crimes, and fraud prevention.
Who is Sue Pascoe?
Pascoe is one of six Conservative politicians vying for six European Union parliament seats available to their patch.
But the race is a rammed one, as 52 politicians across nine parties all pummel the pavements to persuade the public to vote for them.
In a video posted on Twitter yesterday (8 May), Pascoe explained why she is running and what she stands for.
I am standing in the European Elections as the first Conservative trans person ever to do so. I’m very proud and humbled that my party wishes to have me represent them at one of the defining moments in our Country’s history. @LGBTCons @PennyMordaunt @SusanBaroness @MariaMillerUK pic.twitter.com/7SPt9ZaUBM
— Sue Pascoe (@suepascoe001) May 8, 2019
‘Today, I focus on working toward our society, communities, and organizations becoming more inclusive,’ the 59-year-old said.
‘I worked my way up and out of a very difficult deprived background to get to the top of my profession.
‘I then gave it all up to become Sue. My true self. This took me back to a challenging life which I am facing with hope.’
‘The preciousness of being authentic with myself’
Moreover, Pascoe is a trustee of Yorkshire MESMAC, an LGBTI sexual health organizations in north Yorkshire.
She added: ‘Today, I have found the preciousness of being authentic with myself, and the joy of helping others succeed.
‘I am standing in the European elections as the first conservative trans person ever to do so.
‘I am very proud and humbled that my party wishes to have me represent at one of the defining moments of our country’s history.’
European elections: What you need to know
Voters across the EU go to the polls on 23-26 May to elect more than 700 MEPs – members of the European Parliament. They do so every five years.
MEPs represent more than 500 million EU citizens from 28 countries, with each MEP repping a region of their home country.
The European Parliament is the only directly-elected EU institution. The body’s main job is to pass laws and make budgets.
But why are the UK taking part?
After almost three years after part of the nation voted to withdraw from the EU, politicians were nervous. UK Prime Minister Theresa May had avidly hoped to avoid taking part in the European elections.
But after months of slammed down deals and splintered party lines, the nation will now legally have to take part in the European elections after lawmakers pushed the deadline for Brexit to 31 October.
While politicians continue to scramble for a tidy divorce deal with the bloc, voters will be reading postbox pamphlets and Twitter manifestos as they choose the UK’s 73 MEPs.
The elections split Great Britain and Northern Ireland into 12 electoral regions – Yorkshire and the Humber being one of them. Each region has between three to 10 MEPs.