Together we can win Rochester & Strood

Support my campaign to be your Labour candidate

    Meet Kevin

    I’m fifty next year. I was born in 1974, just up the river in Erith. Since the 1970s, Labour have only taken Rochester & Strood back from the Tories once, in 1997.

    For the vast majority of my life the Tories have held all the constituencies in the area and it has allowed them to pretend that only they speak for the people of North West Kent. That is simply not true. I’m determined to fight for – and win – Rochester & Strood for Labour, so that the people here who are crying out for a Labour government will be properly represented for the first time in years in Westminster.

    I’m standing to be your candidate for Rochester & Strood because I have the right skills, energy and experience to win here for Labour.

    Growing up less than twenty miles away along the A2, and with family living here, Medway has always been an important part of my life. I still have a big scar from when I was 8 and broke my arm in Chatham, and was treated in a local hospital. A few years later I paid that debt back to the NHS by becoming a nurse myself. That lifetime commitment to the NHS is one of my biggest motivations for becoming an MP.

    I’ve now worked in the NHS for over a quarter of a century. Thousands of different, precious moments with patients and staff inform who I am today.

    I saw the NHS improve by leaps and bounds after Labour won in 1997, so it is heartbreaking to see it more run down than ever today. For the last five years I have worked at national level on NHS policy, developing and delivering programmes to address the biggest challenges the NHS faces, striving to improve quality of care and the experience of my colleagues at all levels. I have learnt how to make change and improvement happen, and with time spent on secondment to Whitehall, I can bring real insights as an MP into how Labour can be successful when we win.

    But it takes a lot more than the NHS to ensure everyone lives a healthy and happy life. As politicians and policy makers, we need to tackle all the aspects of life that impact on people’s wellbeing and contentment.

    Poverty, inequality, poor housing, the stress of struggling to gain and maintain a home, poor quality work or lack of work, inadequate or missing support when people most need it, failing schools and a lack of affordable childcare harm children’s futures and their parents’ lives. Pollution, unhealthy environments and the ever growing threat of global heating threaten us all. The NHS will continue to struggle – however well it is funded and improved – if we don’t get these fundamentals of good living right for everyone, everywhere.

    We are in the middle of the biggest housing crisis since the Second World War. Labour led the rehousing of Britain then, and we will do so again.

    I am lucky that at a point of real personal crisis as a young gay man, I was given the help I desperately needed by getting a council flat. It gave me the stability to rebuild my life, to the point I am now able to put myself forward for Parliament. Today millions of people are not so lucky. Fighting so that everyone who needs one can have a home they can call their own is key to my personal mission and to Labour’s.

    I also know from living on a council estate that it takes more than bricks, mortar and concrete to make a place worth living in. It is the community you are part of that matters most.

    As chair of my residents association, I’ve developed my grassroots skills in engaging with people, building bridges and enabling people to campaign effectively for the things that matter to them. I’ve worked to get the police and other authorities to take seriously concerns about antisocial behaviour and violence, as well as happier campaigns like creating a new pocket park, renovating our community centre and setting up a community gardening group that has created an urban orchard and provided food waste recycling for our estate. Making this level of on the ground, community building easier and more widespread is fundamental to my vision for renewing the country.

    The Tories have neglected this area and let its communities down but I know what we need to do to stop Rochester & Strood being left behind. We need to make sure the voters also know that we have a plan.

    We need to take the fight to the Tories by talking to thousands of residents on their doorsteps. For a year now, I’ve worked tirelessly alongside many of you to fight and win the local election campaign in Medway. That allowed me to put my extensive campaign experience into practice, going from door to door, listening to people, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future. We have an amazing team here – as the election results showed – and I will always be a campaigning MP.

    All of this is why I’m the right person to win this seat back for Labour. My background, my work, my life experiences and my campaign skills put me in a unique position to seal the deal for Labour in Rochester & Strood.

    What I Believe In

    An economy that works for all

    The cost of living crisis comes on top of years of real terms cuts in public sector wages and people having to work more hours, less securely. I will advocate for pay increases, better workplace protections, support for cooperative economic models and support for small businesses that, together with the public sector, are what put bread on the table for many.

    The best health and social care

    For the NHS to provide the excellent care we all want – and need – it to, we need to address failing social care. This needs national action. The time for tinkering around the edges is over and I will fight for a new social care system for everyone who needs it, and proper pay and working conditions for our amazing care staff who look after them.

    World class public transport

    To access work, services, save the environment, reduce the burden of traffic and live life well, we all need an affordable transport system. I will work with transport experts and push to lift the barriers that prevent local councils from creating comprehensive, affordable integrated public transport networks, with buses at the heart of them.

    A sustainable future for Britain

    Earth is our life support system – and it is at breaking point. To protect their immense personal wealth some in society are trying to ensure we do nothing. I will fight to for us to shift to renewable power, create sustainable industries and food production, while protecting and enhancing our habitats as a route to better jobs as well as healthier lives.

    Safe lives, safe communities

    Everyone should feel safe in their homes and around the place they live. The Tory plan has been to cut services, then blame everyone else for the crime and antisocial behaviour that followed. I know that only by bringing communities together with all the agencies like councils, police, health and voluntary organisations can we make streets safe for all.

    Tackling society’s inequalities

    Covid laid bare the severe impacts of inequality – how it shortens people’s lives as well as making them harder. The Tories stoke up culture wars to get away with polices that are costing people years off their lives. I will champion diversity and push back against Tory rhetoric, and also work to ensure all the causes of deprivation in our communities are identified and addressed.



    Cllr Zoe van Dyke


    Kevin is a trusted pair of hands – a nurse who clearly cares about people. He is a team player, hard-working, thoughtful and in my view will strive to make a positive difference for Rochester & Strood constituents.

    Cllr Sharon Jackson


    Like Kevin, I work in the NHS. I know the values he lives by, and I know why I would trust him to be my MP. In the local elections, he worked to get me elected, day after day. I saw his dedication, hard work and good humour first hand. Kevin is the person who can win for us – no ifs, no buts.

    Cllr David Field


    Kevin would be our best choice for Rochester & Strood. His experience as an NHS nurse and in health policy at a national level is exactly what we need in the House of Commons. I know he will work with communities across our Medway towns to build the type of campaign that will win this seat back for Labour.

    Unmesh Desai AM


    Kevin is a grassroots campaigner with strong Labour values. He has determination and that rare ability to connect with a wide range of voters. His life experiences, including working on the NHS frontline, means there’s no one better to win Rochester & Strood back for Labour.

    Giuliana Christmas


    I’m supporting Kevin McKenna. He recognises that addressing each issue such as our health services, housing, the economy and environment in isolation will have limited impact as they are all linked. He sees the bigger picture without losing the community focus that matters to each one of us.

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