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Bell Phillips architect standing for election


An associate architect at Bell Phillips is running for the Labour Party in next month’s general election

Jay Morton trained at The Bartlett School of Architecture and has spent the past seven years at Bell Phillips, where she is now part of the firm’s management.

But on 12 December, Morton will go head-to-head with Conservative incumbent Gillian Keegan in the West Sussex constituency of Chichester.

Morton grew up around Chichester and went to school in the neighbouring town of Bognor Regis. She is a member of campaign groups Generation Rent, which advocates tenants’ rights, and PricedOut, which lobbies for lower house prices.

To win, Morton will need to overturn a majority of 22,600 votes amassed by Keegan in 2017 – and become the first-ever Labour MP for the constituency.

If Morton does seize the seat, she would likely also become the only sitting MP who is a qualified architect. The last parliament, which was dissolved on Wednesday (6 November), contained no MPs who were qualified architects.

However, Helen Hayes, a former partner at Allies and Morrison, was a town planner and urban designer before joining parliament in 2015. Hayes is seeking re-election in the safe Labour seat of Dulwich and West Norwood.

Meanwhile in June 2017 architectural journalist and design writer Emma Dent Coad became the first Labour MP in Kensington’s history and will be standing again next month. 

Morton has already received support on social media from think-tank The Architecture Foundation and RCKa’s Russell Curtis, who both said the UK would benefit from policy-makers with more architectural experience.

During her time at Bell Phillips, Morton has worked on projects including Marina Gardens, a £25 million elderly care home for Pegasus Life in Portishead, as well as developing affordable housing across six sites for the London Borough of Newham. 



Readers' comments (3)

  • Jay, good luck on the dark and cold campaign trail. You will learn a lot about the way politics in this country works, and get a safer seat in 5 years time?!

    If you take West Sussex we are done for. It will mean McDonnell is in charge of the economy, borrowing unwisely and spending wastefully? The manifestos have yet to be published and independently assessed, but do we really need to nationalise water and railways? The private sector has to invest in all our services, and expects a sensible return. No one is going to sell the NHS to Trump! And privatising parts of the NHS has been beneficial. I’m writing this from a cancer ward, looking forward to lunch, after joshing with the Spanish cleaner! And the Irish nurse.

    Affordable housing does need sorting out, and the private sector can do this too. Already we are building more family flats and houses, leaving the cheaper one bedders for the singletons. The private sector, with proper standards, can build faster, and in better locations, and carbon neutral.

    This is going to be a fascinating general election, with Tory remainers voting Lib Dem, and Labour leavers up north biting the bullet and voting Tory for once, rather than a very left wing Labour. They can see which way the warm wind is blowing?

    We need money to change things for the better. And contrary to Corbyn, it is in everyone’s best interest for all to have a say in the way this great country is run. Homelessness is a very complex problem, and is not solved by simply opening a swathe of night rests. And making billionaires illegal! They pay their taxes, and with the Laffer Curve contribute more when taxes are lower.

    So get a grip. We’re all in this together. Broad minded architects in Parliament will help, especially in committee, and later in the Lord’s?

    That was a good BLT, but could do with some Lady Grey later?!

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  • Brilliant news - go for it Jay!

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  • As one of her potential constituents - good luck!

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