Melksham and Devizes Constituency
Malcolm is a genuinely local man. He grew up in Melksham and went to school at Aloeric Primary School and George Ward Comprehensive before emigrating to South Africa with his family when he was 15 years old in 1983.
He returned to this country in 1989 and became Editor of the Melksham News and founder Editor of White Horse News in 1990. He moved into public relations in 1992 and his career then took him away to London. In 1996 Malcolm was head hunted by the world’s biggest PR company as a Senior Consultant and moved to the Middle East. He returned to the UK in 2000 and moved to the world’s second largest PR company before becoming an independent consultant in 2003.
Malcolm has travelled very widely with his career, spending extended periods of time in various parts of Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.
Malcolm moved back to this area in 2019 and lives in Keevil with his wife Caroline, two dogs and a cat.
“The truth is that I never wanted to leave in the first place. It was very difficult to leave my friends and home behind at the age of 15 and move to Apartheid era South Africa. For all of the years I spent in other parts of the world and chasing my career, I always had a strong sense that I was living in somebody else’s country or somebody else’s city and that as a guest I wasn’t entitled to express any opinion other than a gracious acknowledgement of the things that I benefited from in a foreign place.
“Wherever I went I always made certain to learn as much as possible about the local language, history and culture, and in doing this have been acutely aware of my own need to have my own sense of belonging, to be at home and to treasure my own culture and history.
“As a child I used to love cycling the lanes around Melksham, walking in the bluebell woods at Erlestoke or on Roundway Down and wherever I have been in the world, I genuinely dreamt about being able to do those things. So, it was quite literally a dream come true to finally come home and it has been fantastic to meet old friends again and finally have that sense of belonging. I never want to live anywhere else again.”
Malcolm was an active member of the Conservative Party for 25 years before resigning last year. “The farce over the leadership contest was absolutely the final straw for me. The Conservative Party has moved further and further away from core conservative values in the last 20 years and I no longer felt able to support it. It is absolutely clear to me that those values have been embraced by Reform UK.
The Party stands strongly for the classically liberal values of low taxation, personal responsibility, small government, empowered individualism, properly policed borders, free market economics, law and order and, above all, common sense. It is resistant to conformity, statism, bureaucracy and authoritarianism.
“This is a tumultuous time in politics, nationally and internationally and we need to see an end to the homogenous globalist social democrat-style me-too politics that have increasingly dominated our political system in recent years.
Socially and economically the two party first-past-the-post system has failed the nation, leaving vast swathes of people politically homeless and watching powerless, locally and nationally, as policies are foisted on them with little or no democratic accountability. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. It is time for people to have a real alternative that will enable their voices to be heard. A move away from the status quo. Reform UK provides that.”
Malcolm has strong views on the need for true local representation in national politics.
“National problems are local problems. People everywhere are concerned about the economy, about energy supply and cost, about their freedom to travel, about illegal immigration, about culture wars, crime and housing. Some of these issues are more prominent in this area than others though and there are also specific concerns here that can only be addressed if they are taken to Parliament and fought for with passion by somebody who understands them and who is genuinely part of the local community and willing to fight for it.
The MP should be listening to local people and working for them. You are elected to serve, not elected to rule. Starting right now I will be going to every Parish Council in the constituency and finding out what local residents genuinely need and aspire to so that I can fight for them if I am elected. That’s what every MP should do. Use their ears for their constituents and their mouths in Parliament, not the other way around.
“One of the biggest problems we have in politics now is that Parliament is chocked full of identikit career politicians who get parachuted into constituencies that they have no real affiliation to, having previously gone to the ‘right’ school and Oxbridge. They often have no real-life experience. They exist to impose centralised policies on their constituents, regardless of their opinions, needs and aspirations. I’ve done things the hard way. I haven’t been parachuted in from London or Cheshire with the financial support of a big political party.
I grew up in Melksham, I went to a Comprehensive school, I didn’t get to go to university because I had to go out and work. I’ve uprooted myself time and again to chase opportunity and I have had to work hard for everything I have. I’ve been very lucky, I know many people who have just as much to offer as me and more, who haven’t had the opportunities I have had. I think everybody deserves opportunity, regardless of where they went to school or how much money their parents had. If you are talented and hardworking you should be able to have the opportunity to fulfil your potential and your background should be irrelevant.
“Reform UK has now given me the greatest opportunity I have ever had, to fight to represent all the people in the area I come from and belong in. I will do everything I can to do that as well as it can possibly be done.”
Outside politics Malcolm enjoys walking in the countryside with his dogs, restoring and showing classic cars and motorcycles. He is an avid supporter of Bath Rugby and Somerset cricket and has a deep interest in British history.
Melksham and Devizes Constituency Map
Melksham and Devizes Constituency Information
1 Box & Colerne
2 Bradford-on-Avon North
3 Bradford-on-Avon South
4 Bromham, Rowde & Roundway
5 Calne South
6 Devizes East
7 Devizes North
8 Devizes Rural West
9 Devizes South
11 Melksham Forest
12 Melksham South
13 Melksham Without North & Shurnhold
14 Melksham Without West & Rural
15 The Lavingtons
16 Urchfont & Bishops Cannings
17 Winsley & Westwood
19 Melksham East