CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Former model Catherine McQueen to stand for Tories in council elections

Exclusive: Conservatives confident that DJ turned property expert can disrupt Labour

01 March, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Catherine McQueen interviewing tennis star Novak Djovokic during her time as a TV presenter

SHE has DJ’d in some of the world’s biggest nightclubs, starred in a James Bond film, interviewed tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as a TV journalist and posed for photo spreads in Loaded and Maxim.

But now former model Catherine McQueen is ready for something far more exciting than all of that: a quest to become a councillor at the Town Hall.

The New Journal can reveal that the 38-year-old will be unveiled among the Conservative’s election candidates lining up to tackle next year’s council election at a campaign launch event on Saturday.

She is on the slate to take on the sitting Labour candidates in her home Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward, a seat which the Tories have pledged to make a target neighbourhood when the borough goes to the polls next May.

Insiders in the Conservative camp say Ms McQueen, whose running mates in the ward will include tube driver Peter Horne, believe her profile and confident style from a past career in front of the camera could disrupt Labour in the same way gallery owner Rebecca Hossack was once able to do when she won a seat in Bloomsbury.

Ms McQueen is now making waves in the sharp-edged world of property after changing careers. “I don’t get recognised in the street any more,” she said. “People may Google my name and I’ve done different things – and maybe I stayed modelling for longer than I should have done but it was an exciting lifestyle. Now, I’m living with my son in what should be a residential area, but when I tell people that Camden Town is a residential area they can’t believe what I’m saying: you have people late at night running through the back streets screaming, pissing in the streets, throwing up – and then in the day you get drug pushers trying to sell.”

She added: “Camden Town may always have had a reputation for being a bit dirty and grimy, but I don’t think it used to be dirty, grimy and dangerous. I don’t think people used to get murdered.” She lives close to where a man died from a knife wound last summer.

Asked whether her views were out of step with her past life as a club DJ, she said: “I’m not saying people can’t go out. They just don’t need to piss in the streets. This a place for families to live: there is a community, good schools. After the stabbing last year, I looked up what people were saying and somebody in a newspaper article had commented that Camden Town was like ‘downtown Mogadishu’ on Saturday nights and I just thought is that what people think of our area.”

Ms McQueen, who appeared in Die Another Day, when Pierce Brosnan was Bond, said she had always supported the Conservatives.

“I like what the Tories say about aspiration, for working to get best life you can and business. I think you should be able to say business without it being a dirty word,” she said.

With just over a year until the council elections, the Tories are the first party to name their candidates. Croydon MP and former Camden councillor Chris Philp is set to join the campaign launch.

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