A former Welsh Woman of the Year (in recognition of her work on disability rights), Karen fought the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency at the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, achieving a swing of over 5% from Labour to the Conservatives. Originally from Durham, she has lived in South Wales for over a decade and has worked for a variety of public sector and community-based organisations seeking to help disadvantaged people.
She says of her politics:
"My passion is speaking up for those who don’t have a voice... This year my interest in voluntary work and making a difference took me to Rwanda with another 104 Conservative volunteers... I’ve worked with voluntary organisations and charities for many years and am frustrated that the key work they undertake isn’t always acknowledged, nor supported by the Government... My passion is ensuring that everyone is given the opportunity of fulfilling their potential, that when we think of improving services or our quality of life we think of the least advantaged first. My priority is Social Justice."
Cardiff Central had a Conservative MP until 1992, when it was won by Jon Owen Jones for Labour; he held the seat until 2005, when it was gained by Jenny Willott for the Liberal Democrats. She will defend a majority of 5,593 over Labour.