Harry Boparai, Liberal Democrat, Surrey County Council

Harry Boparai Biography

Harry was raised on a local council estate by immigrant parents, who came to England in 1963. Unlike our present MP, Harry did not have the opportunity to go to Eton, but attended a local comprehensive school.

Life was hard for the Boparai family who were subjected to racism from the National Front before their home was repossessed during the Thatcher years when interest rates hit 17%. The family’s financial problems put an end to any prospect of further education for Harry, who entered the labour market at 16 to contribute to the household finances.

Consequently, Harry has been educated in the University of Life. In sharp contrast to Kwasi Kwarteng, whose expensive education at Eton and Cambridge did not prevent him from crashing the economy when Liz Truss foolishly gave him the keys to the treasury for a just few days in September 2022. We are all still paying the price for Kwarteng’s irresponsible and uncosted mini-budget.

Coming from this under-privileged background, Harry has always fought tirelessly for the most vulnerable in society  - those least able to defend themselves and who most need our support and compassion.

Harry is married to Laura & they have three children. The family moved to Spelthorne 13 years ago.

Laura and Harry at home
Harry with his wife Laura

Harry has worked at Heathrow airport for 26 years and was a Trade Union representative for Unite before covid hit, and new contracts were forced upon a loyal workforce.

When Harry's employer ripped up his contract after 25 years of loyal service at Heathrow Airport, Harry with other Spelthorne resident colleagues turned to their MP, Kwasi Kwarteng, for help, but he did not want to know.

It was during this time when Harry was a Unite union representative that he witnessed bosses, like John Holland-Kaye, cynically taking advantage of Covid to cut workers’ wages to boost company profits. 

All the more shocking is that Holland-Kaye, who was responsible for one of the most brutal examples of fire and rehire during the Covid pandemic, is now one of Labour's 121 newly announced business backers. 

Heathrow’s treatment of its workers was in marked contrast to the treatment of senior management who suffered a temporary pay cut during the pandemic, which was subsequently restored.  Holland-Kaye himself was rewarded with a massive increase in his salary.

Harry feels very strongly that there should be a total ban on fire and rehire to prevent such a cynical practice ever being allowed to happen again.

During lockdown, when the airport was closed, Harry worked for one of the world’s richest delivery companies and experienced working under a zero-hour contract which was educational, and again a real eye opener on how wide the gap between the super-rich and poor has become.

Also, during the pandemic Harry helped at a local food bank which again highlighted the daily struggles of families. The food bank inspired him to start his own business expounding the virtues of green sustainability, a sense of community, healthy living and protecting our planet. His concern for social justice and the environment drew Harry to the Liberal Democrats.

Harry’s business also has an outreach programme assisting families who are struggling financially to cook cost- effective and wholesome meals. The company targets school leavers who need direction and these are taken into structured programmes establishing basic work disciplines preparing them for the formal employment sector.

Social group in Sunbury
Harry and local residents at a regular coffee and conversation group in Sunbury, which he helped fund

Harry first became a councillor in 2022, when he overturned an enormous Conservative majority to become the county councillor for Sunbury and Ashford Common, winning by just 15 votes. Since his election Harry has been able to help so many people that he was then elected as a Borough Councillor by a landslide in May 2023.

Harry did not stand for election for what he can be, but for what he can do. You can read about his many achievements, such as funding a food bank kitchen and protecting the green belt, on the website and social media. Several of these issues had been unresolved for years. Of course many of the individuals Harry has helped would like to maintain privacy.

Unfortunately, some of the issues facing Spelthorne residents require action by central government. For example, the extension of the oyster card zone 6 or increased funding for our NHS. Therefore Harry determined that to push these issues forward, Westminster would have to be his next port of call.

Harry Boparai with Daisy Cooper

Harry with the Lib Dem Deputy leader Daisy Cooper MP at Westminster 

Harry is determined to become the first MP for Spelthorne who actually lives in the constituency. Spelthorne has been taken for granted by the Conservatives for far too long.

What will be Harry's priorities if elected to parliament?

  • To address the cost of living crisis. Harry is passionate about social justice as he knows how it feels when you are struggling to make ends meet or have nowhere to live.
  • To increase funding for our beleaguered NHS.
  • To clean up our waterways and take action on Climate Change.

Harry also wants to prevent crime by investing in neighbourhood policing and youth services and he strongly supports Twickenham MP Munira Wilson’s bill to have a  qualified mental health professional in every school. Money invested in our children saves money in the long run.

Harry is committed to supporting positive action to repair Britain's broken relationship with the rest of Europe.

If elected to represent the people of Spelthorne Harry will make being an MP his one and only job. Unlike our retiring MP, he will not accept lucrative consultancies.

The people of Spelthorne deserve an MP who lives in the constituency and who genuinely cares about our community.

That person is Harry Boparai.

You can see examples of some of Harry's campaigns and achievements as a local councillor be following the links below:

Support for Sunbury Food Bank

Preventing misuse of public land

Protecting Green spaces

Supporting GP practices

A statement on Harry's political journey can be seen here

Declaration of interests:
Member of Unite Union
Member of the Richmond in Europe Association.

Contact details

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