Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specialising in transport and was the Labour candidate in the Richmond Park by-election in December 2016. He is the author of numerous books, mostly on the railways, and is a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes as a commentator on transport issues and wider political issues.
Christian has worked as a journalist for numerous publications including The Observer, The London Daily News and the Independent where he spent nearly a decade, mostly as transport correspondent. His books include Stagecoach, a critical history of the transport company; On the Wrong Line, which exposed the scandal of rail privatisation; Down the Tube, a critique of the Public Private Partnership on the Underground; as well as histories of Britain’s railways, US railroads and the Transsiberian. His latest book is the history of India’s railways called Railways and the Raj. He also wrote a book on the scandal of abuse in children’s homes entitled Forgotten Children.
As a journalist, Christian has been involved in numerous campaigns, including successfully ensuring that cars could not be fitted with bull bars, following a series of child pedestrian deaths. He also published a series of exposés on housing, such as the effect of council house sales and the plight of teenagers leaving care, when he worked for Shelter.
Christian has been a member of the Labour party for most of his adult life but his front line political career was only launched when he campaigned for selection as the Labour candidate in the 2016 London mayoral election. Speaking at around 100 meetings, Christian was nominated by sufficient Constituency Labour Parties to reach the six-person short list – the only non-MP to do so. Forming a team based around the WolmarforLondon campaign, Christian pushed for a wide variety of policies that were ultimately picked up by Sadiq Khan who obtained the nomination. Christian finished fifth with 5,000 votes from Labour members in London.
At the Richmond Park by-election, his energetic campaign was summed by Edward Jones, the secretary of the Local Labour party: ‘Christian Wolmar worked tirelessly on the campaign trail and bettered both Sarah Olney and Zac Goldsmith in the hustings’.
Christian is seeking selection once again as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate because he believes his experience, knowledge, energy and advocacy skills can make a valuable contribution to a Labour victory in the next General Election, and can support a strong House of Commons working with a Labour Government under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
In particular, Christian believes that a holistic, sustainable transport policy built around trains, trams, buses, cycling and walking can be a key factor in achieving economic success for the UK in the new circumstances outside the EU.
Christian is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Rail Museum and is a trustee of the London Cycling Campaign. He is a regular runner, having completed nearly 100 5k Parkruns, and a cyclist who recently finished the 100 mile Ride London Sportive.