AS part of our build-up to the General Elections on May 6 the Times Series is featuring a candidate profile for each of the main candidates in the three constituencies in Barnet.

Today we focus on Matthew Harris, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Hendon constituency which also covers Edgware and Mill Hill.

For comprehensive election coverage, click here.

THE 39-year-old, who is standing for a seat in Parliament for the first time, lives in New Barnet and was educated at Christ's College school and studied at Oxford University.

He says the experience of going form a local comprehensive to one of the most respected universities in Britain has made him passionate about education and the need for good comprehensives.

Currently working in PR Mr Harris was made redundant last year, an experience which he said made him understand how bad things have got for some people.

He said: “I was fortunate enough to find work within months, but this experience really brought home to me the misery of this economic downturn.

“This made me all the more determined to get into Parliament and really try to make a difference for the better.”

His mother's family came to the country as German Jewish refugees, something he says made him want to stand for the Liberal Democrats to create a “fairer Britain”.

His pastimes include reading, walking, cinema and theatre and he lists the Rising Sun pub as his favourite place in the constituency.

He has previously stood for the party in local council and has campaigned to improve the Thameslink rail link, against Territorial Army cuts and for human rights in the UK and abroad.

He is vice chairman of the Lib Dem Friends of Israel.

His five key election issues are: -Fair taxes for all: The first priority is to introduce fair taxes, with radical proposals for the biggest tax reform in generations. The Liberal Democrats will close loopholes for the very richest, to fund tax cuts of £700 for everyone else. No-one will pay income tax on the first £10,000 they earn, meaning millions of low earners and pensioners will stop paying taxes altogether, while millions more will get hundreds of pounds back in their pockets. Only the Liberal Democrats will make taxes permanently fair.

-A fair start for children: The next priority is to give every child the fair start they deserve through a huge transformation of our education system that will build the foundations of a fair society. That means cutting class sizes so children get the individual attention they need to thrive. The Liberal Democrats will be putting an extra £2.5 billion into schools to pay for more teachers, better discipline and catch-up classes so children get the individual attention they all need. This means an average of £2,500 extra per pupil for the schools teaching the million most deprived children in the country, funded by taking above-average earners out of the tax credit system and cutting wasteful programmes at the Department for Education. The Liberal Democrats will also phase out tuition fees over the course of six years, so that, after school, everyone who gets the grades has the opportunity to go to university without fear of debt, no matter what their background.  Fair, clean and local politics: Thirdly, the Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to real change of our political system. This means getting big money and corrupt donors out of politics altogether, reducing the number of MPs by 150, giving power over the police and NHS to local communities, changing the voting system to abolish safe seats and giving people the right to sack corrupt MPs. These are changes that would upend our political establishment. Neither Labour nor or the Conservatives will ever offer change on this scale - they will defend the status quo to the last. Only the Liberal Democrats offer the chance for a different politics. Another whitewash is unacceptable; we need permanent change to make politics clean, fair and local. If elected as Hendon’s MP, I will live in the constituency, commuting into town by public transport, as I already do every working day. I will only ever claim expenses for things that would be considered a normal business expense in most workplaces, and I will certainly never claim for a second home.

-A fair and green economy: The Liberal Democrats will shift the economy away from the traditional over-reliance on the City of London and on financial services. Our plans will usher in a new era where growth is enabled in every part of Britain in a way that promotes green technology and creates lasting jobs. We will put an end to the casino banking that caused the financial crisis by breaking up the banks and encouraging regional and local ways to bring competition back to the financial sector and make sure businesses can find the money they need to grow. Under our plans, councils will regain control of business rates, reconnecting local enterprise with local politics; Local Enterprise Funds will help people invest in growing businesses in their area and Regional Stock Exchanges will give companies a way to move into public equity without the huge risks and costs of a London listing. The Liberal Democrats will also create a new National Infrastructure Bank to bring in private money to build the transport links, energy grid and public buildings we need for a sustainable, low carbon economy in every part of Britain.

-A fair foreign policy: British people used to be proud of what our country stood for. But Britain’s reputation has been damaged by dodgy arms deals with dictators, allegations of involvement in torture, and the mismanagement of events in Iraq. Liberal Democrats will put British values of decency and the rule of law back at the heart of our foreign policy.  We will always put the country’s security first. But the national interest demands that we work with allies, stand up for human rights, and help people in the poorest parts of the world. As Vice-Chairman of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, I have campaigned consistently for a two-state solution that would bring peace, justice and security to Israelis and Palestinians alike.