Hugo Charlton,
Parliamentary candidate for Kensington and ChelseaHugo Charlton

Kensington and Chelsea
Parliamentary Candidate

Hugo Charlton, 48, is a practising criminal barrister and is married with two small children. He is the Green Party Law Officer and Chairman of the Policy Committee. He has been a Green Party member for over ten years serving in a number of capacities including as a member of the Green Party Council.

He was born in Kensington, was married in Chelsea, and has lived most of his life in the constituency. He married Jane Sidnell, an antiques dealer, in 1994.

After leaving York University he travelled extensively, overland from New York to Buenos Aires and from London to Delhi. Qualifying as a barrister in 1978, he became a professional traveller, exporting whisky in the Far East, Central and South America.

He returned to the bar in 1986 and works from Pump Court in the Temple.

His experiences of everyday life in the Magistrates Courts, combined with an awareness of the alternatives presented by new economics, led him into the Green Party.

He was part of the team which brought the High Court cases of ex.partes Blatchford and Bullard. The three judges, chaired by Lord Nolan confirmed that the Poll Tax legislation was fundamentally flawed ("the computer evidence point"), a ruling which has been described as the death knell of the Poll Tax. He had consistently campaigned for, and appeared on behalf of, those unable to pay, (as well as more famous refusniks such as the MPs Ken Livingstone and Terry Fields). He describes it as a "flat rate tax .. which even Adam Smith did not advocate."

His concern for the underdog is matched by his general concern for animals. In particular he has fought against live animal export, an issue to which he was abruptly introduced when complaining about the livestock's conditions on the Dover to Calais ferry in 1992 and was promptly assaulted by the driver. He has sought to bring animal issues into the mainstream of the political process

He also took part in the protests against the M11 and other road building projects, and successfully ended plans by Guilford Council to put a bypass through Stringers Common. He was active in opposing the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and is currently a trainer in the Bar Council's Human Rights Training Program.

He stood as a Councilor (Courtfield ward Kensington) and for Parliament (Epsom & Ewell 1997) and was the candidate for Surrey in the 1994 European elections.

He proposes to campaign for the Kensington & Chelsea by-election on a more environmental ticket but anticipates issues of personal freedom, privacy and intrusion by the State among other bodies may arise. He will argue that capitalism as we know it is not working.

His campaign issues are a continuation of those on which the Green Party fought the European Election - Safe food and a healthy environment -