Meet the Team
Samuel Booker Chair
Sam first joined the Labour Party at the age of 14 in 2017. Initially encouraged by the Corbyn Project, he joined as part of the infamous “Youth Quake” in the run-up to the 2017 General Election. Post-election, Sam drifted away from the Corbyn Project. He was subsequently elected as a Senior Student at his secondary school and became more and more involved in the Labour movement. It was around this time that Sam started attending Labour meetings in Taunton, Wellington and Wiveliscombe, where he met and talked to residents and party members from across the constituency.
In 2019, Sam attended Exeter College to study Politics, Economics and Law. Sam helped organise Taunton Deane Labour Party’s Social Media campaign for the General Election. He also campaigned extensively in the constituency of Exeter, where he and fellow activists ate chips with Ben Bradshaw at the MP’s constituency home.
In 2020, he became Vice-Chair & Membership Officer of the CLP at the tender age of 17, making him one of the youngest in the country to hold such a role, and campaigned vigorously for Keir Starmer to be Labour Leader.
Now aged 18, Sam was elected as Chair of Taunton Deane Constituency Labour Party in February of 2021. Sam lives with his partner in Taunton and currently studies a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at The Open University after dropping out of Exeter College in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Rob Ewers Secretary
Rob grew up in Taunton and moved to London at the age of 20 to study at Brunel University. While there he held a number of positions in addition to his studies, including in events, project management and theatre. He has worked in various roles including for 5 years at the world leading policy think tank Chatham House, within the Centre on Global Health Security and for Labour Peer, Lord Robert Winston’s charity, Genesis Research Trust. As Secretary of Taunton Deane CLP he aims to develop the local party to disrupt the Tory/Lib-Dem consensus through growth, increased visibility and voter engagement.
Cllr Brenda Weston CLP Vice-Chair (Membership) & Councillor for Priorswood
Brenda joined the Labour Party as a lone parent in 1980. Despite having zero knowledge of how it all worked, Brenda instantly became active in the Taunton Labour Women’s Council and with constituency party campaigning. Her first job, aged 16, was at County Hall and in a weird twist of fate she returned to occupy the very same office as County Councillor and Labour Group leader in 1995.
Now a District councillor for the second time, Brenda works alongside Libby Lisgo as a councillor for Priorswood – where she also grew up. Brenda’s political experience spurred her into further and higher education and she graduated from the University of Bristol in 1991 with a Social Policy Hons degree. Since then Brenda has mostly worked in policy research into areas such as rural poverty, youth offending, child protection, social care and housing. Brenda’s most satisfying job was leading the policy and research work at an equality charity – Equality South West. Brenda has also represented South West CLPs on Labour’s National Policy Forum since 1998, and currently sits on the Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission.
Penny James CLP Vice-Chair
Kieran Canham Treasurer & Fundraising Officer
Kieran has lived in the constituency, in Wellington, all his life and now lives in Wellington with his wife and children.
He joined the Labour Party in 2015, realising that my socialist values were best spent working and contributing to trying to elect a Labour government to govern in the interests of workers. He has stood in Town Council and District Council elections as a Labour Party candidate.
Kieran has worked for Somerset County Council for nearly 9 years, predominantly in education. He is also an active trade unionist. Kieran is a union steward and branch secretary of UNISON Somerset County Branch representing workers in Local Government, schools and social care.
Aside from politics and trade union activity, his passion lies in football and when time permits he tries to spend as much time on the terraces watching his team.
Neil Guild Trade Union Liaison Officer
Vacant Women’s Officer
Stan Ely Campaigns Coordinator
Jon Gray Policy Officer
Ross Leach Youth Officer
Cllr Libby Lisgo Labour Group Leader
Mike McGuffie Environment Officer
Mike has lived in the Wellington area for over 20 years, first in Langford Budville and since 2010 in North Wellington. His career was in IT and auditing but since 2014 he has been a full time homemaker. Mike has been a governor at his sons’ primary school and has been active in the local Friends of the Earth, Oxfam fundraising and Peace groups.
Mike has been a member of Labour since 2017 and was elected to Wellington Town Council in 2019, where he chairs the Environment and Open Spaces committee and he is also the Environment Officer for the local party. Wellington is a lovely town and he is interested in how we can make it more sustainable, improving the environment and reducing pollution while ensuring the homes and facilities people need are available in a fair and equitable way.
Mike can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vacant BAME Officer
Vacant LGBT+ Officer
Vacant Disabilities Officer
Vacant Communications Officer