Christian Wolmar political biography
Christian Wolmar is the author of a dozen books, mainly on transport, and a lifelong Labour campaigner who stood as the Labour candidate in the Richmond Park by-election a year ago.
Christian first came to prominence in the Labour party when he campaigned for selection as the Labour candidate for the London mayoral election. He spent three years creating the WolmarforLondon campaign, speaking at nearly 100 meetings across the capital and developing a range of innovative policies that have proved to be very influential. In particular, the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, which Christian had first suggested in an article in the Evening Standard in 1998 was picked up by Sadiq Khan as a result of Christian’s suggestion and is now being implemented. See www.wolmarforlondon.co.uk for details of other policies developed during the campaign. Christian was eventually shortlisted and obtained 5,000 votes from Labour members in London.
At the Richmond Park by-election, Christian’s 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 voted for Remain in the referendum and remains of the view that Brexit is bad for Britain.
Christian is seeking selection as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cities of London and Westminster 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.
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 and a book on the scandal of abuse in children’s homes entitled Forgotten Children. His short book, Are Trams Socialist? is an analysis of why Britain has never had a proper transport policy and he has also just authored Driverless Cars: on a road to nowhere setting out why the concept of driverless cars is a dangerous fantasy.
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. In particular, Christian believes that a 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. He has just founded a new campaign, Labour Cycles, to press for pro-cycling measures to play a prominent role in the next Labour manifesto. Christian feels that cycling, with its benefits for health, the environment and equality, should play a central role
Christian is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Rail Museum and a trustee of the London Cycling Campaign. He is a regular runner, having completed nearly 100 5k Parkruns, and a cyclist who recently finished last summer’s 100 mile Ride London Sportive.