Published: 26th Jan 2011

He’s championed localism from the outside, now James Morris has the chance to drive it from the centre. Clare Goff meets him One of the first text messages James Morris received when he became a Member of Parliament during the last election came from a fellow MP. It read simply: ‘Congratulations! Another localist at the centre.’ As new MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, James Morris would not be exaggerating if he claimed to have localism running through his veins. Having been an entrepreneur in the software industry, he took his first step into politics in 2003 when he set up the campaigning organisation Mind the Gap to promote civic action and plug the ‘growing gap between citizens and political decision-making’. A pamphlet then followed entitled Change Starts Small in which, he says, he went on a ‘philosophical journey down the route of localism’. This journey continued when, in 2008, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)