Candidate Profile: Pauline Pearce
PUBLISHED: 09:57 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:58 17 March 2015
Liberal Democrat party candidate
The Liberal Democrats have adopted Pauline Pearce as their prospective Parliamentary candidate to challenge Peter Lilley in Hitchin and Harpenden. Pauline hit the national news in 2011 when she stood up to rioters in East London and became known as the “Hackney Heroine”.
But Pauline was born and raised in Hitchin, not Hackney. She attended Purwell Primary School and Hitchin Girls’ School and then went to North Herts College to study dance and drama. Pauline had a passion for music and theatre from an early age: she joined the Queen Mother Theatre and did many shows. After leaving college, and while supporting herself and her family by working as a cleaner and a care worker, Pauline began a career as a jazz singer. Pauline took a one woman show to the Edinburgh fringe. It was a success and launched Pauline into a singing career.
Things haven’t always been right in Pauline’s life. In 2000, after making what she describes as the biggest mistake of her life, Pauline was jailed for a drug related offence. After leaving prison, Pauline retrained in catering and has run a number of restaurant businesses, often drawing on her West Indian roots. She has also battled and survived breast cancer, going through multiple rounds of treatment.
Then, during the 2011 London riots, Pauline was caught on film, still walking with a stick from cancer treatment, berating looters and facing up to rioting youths. In the media circus that followed, she was wooed by several political parties and used the publicity to support various community causes. Eventually in 2012, Pauline joined the Liberal Democrats and contested a by-election in Hackney. Despite being unsuccessful, she has continued to campaign with the Lib Dems, now serving on the Party’s Federal Executive and Federal Conference Committees. She is also involved in the Liberal Democrats’ Ethnic Minority campaign and engagement groups.
Pauline said, “I am so delighted to be returning to my home town of Hitchin, where my father, children, many family and friends still live, to contest the 2015 general election. I am standing for the Liberal Democrats because they are the political party that is most committed to making sure that local people are involved in the decisions that affect their lives: decisions about school places, new housing developments, leisure facilities and council spending. I am totally committed to fighting community campaigns and so the Lib Dems are the Party for me”.