Introducing Our Candidate Luigi Gregori

Early life

I was born and grew up in Greenock, Scotland which had a sizable Liberal presence. My father was a staunch Liberal. My mother was a Thatcherite but because of her Catholicism had a strong commitment to social justice and charitable works, which she continued to her death. My formative years were spent at Catholic schools including St Aloysius College which was then run by Jesuits and where I finished as School Captain. Whilst I cannot blame the Jesuits for my lapsed Catholicism, they did instil an inquiring and challenging mind.

Professional Life

I was very much a career professional soldier, serving between 1976 and 2012 in a variety of command and staff roles including logistics, intelligence, operations, and IS programme management. After spending time at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, tours of duty included the UK, Falklands, Belize, Germany, Italy, USA and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. I left as a Colonel.

Officers generally change posts every two to three years, and although jobs might be linked in terms of a career path there is plenty of scope for variety and learning. One job I was sent to was selected for me on the basis I would learn political skills like walking the corridors and effectively working with civil servants. These skills proved useful in the UN and NATO as well as the Serious Organised Crime Agency. I was also chosen to run two large multi-million pound IS projects. The first was Y2K for the Army and later JAMES IS which created a vehicle inventory system.

Political Life

I joined the party in 2015 after being annoyed by not having a Lib Dem to vote for at the local elections. Following co-option to the Andover Town Council some months later, I have been a member of that council since then with the exception of a seven month gap. When standing for council at borough and county level, I have progressively increased our vote share. Last year I managed to get elected to Test Valley Borough Council for Andover Harroway.

Aside from leading the town council Lib Dem group, I have been heavily involved in supporting the local parties and branches, especially in campaigning activities. I am an approved candidate and in 2019 at short notice stood as PPC for NWHants. We doubled our votes. The highlight of the count was pushing an expectant Labour into third place and reversing years of decline. Since then, I have acted as the Parliamentary Spokesperson. This has allowed me to bring continuity and act as a focus for constituency campaigning efforts and increasing our party’s profile.

Personal Attributes

Throughout my career I have been considered a more than competent operator and a conscientious team player with strong leadership qualities who can focus on the job at hand. Since 2015, I have brought these and other attributes into my political life and have successfully run elections either winning or increasing our vote share, often under difficult circumstances. I have also put an emphasis on developing a capacity to campaign more effectively especially after the impact of Brexit waned and our membership numbers dwindled.

 

One area I have had success in is raising our profile in the media both written and social.  This has included an extensive campaign of letter writing to the written press that has resulted in a better recognition of our policies across North West Hampshire. I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. As a town and borough councillor I consider it an enormous honour and privilege to represent my residents. However, we need to remember why we are doing it. We are fighting for a better and more liberal Britain. There are many areas where our great country of ours is in crisis. These include the cost of living hitting all of us but especially the most vulnerable, an NHS and social care system that is fit for purpose and properly invested in, and we need to stop treating our waterways as sewers.

 

Luigi Gregori

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