When I met Tracy Brabin MP, who has recently been elected Mayor of West Yorkshire, early in 2020, she gave me some uplifting personal advice.
“You are an artist and you deserve to be paid for what you do.”
I had offered Tracy a free copy of my first book, Rockstar Ending, because it was relevant to her shadow ministerial responsibilities at the time (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – DCMS).
However, she insisted on paying for it.
That gave me a big lesson in validation.
She had worked in the arts and understood how precarious life can be in the creative sector. In spite of holding high political office, Tracy did not hesitate for a second to put her hand in her own pocket. OK, it was a handbag, but you get the idea.
Not long after, I was disappointed when Tracy was shuffled out of the shadow cabinet. She was that rare thing, a politician who had direct experience of the area they worked in, with a successful acting career before being elected.
As far as the creative industries were concerned, she actually knew was doing. That would never do!
With this week’s news, she now has to resign as MP to take up her mayoral role.
Westminster’s loss is West Yorkshire’s gain.