Liberal Democrat candidate for Harpenden is "Hackney Heroine"
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 March 2015
The Liberal Democrats have revealed their candidate in the battle to become Harpenden's next MP in this May's General Election.
Pauline Pearce, dubbed the “Hackney Heroine” after standing up to rioters in 2011, has been unveiled as the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate.
Pauline, who was born and raised in Hitchin and attended schools locally, will challenge Conservative Peter Lilley – who has been the constituency’s MP since 1997 - for his seat.
She said: “I am so delighted to be returning to my home town where my father, children, many family and friends still live.
“I am standing for the Lib Dems because they are the 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.
She added: “I am totally committed to fighting community campaigns and so the Lib Dems are the party for me.”
After working as a cleaner and care worker, Pauline worked as a jazz singer and performed at the Edinburgh fringe.
However, in 2000, after making what she described as the “the biggest mistake of her life” she served a sentence for a drug offence.
On leaving prison, she then retrained in catering and has since run a number of restaurants, often drawing on her West Indian roots.
In 2011 she was commended for berating looters and rioters in Hackney – earning her nickname - despite still walking on a stick following breast cancer treatment.
Though she was wooed by a number of other political parties, she joined the Lib Dems in 2012.
Despite being unsuccessful in the Hackney by-election she continued to campaign for the party and now serves on its federal executive and federal conference committees, as well as being involved in its ethnic minority campaign.