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Oxford student brings a touch of glamour to UK politics as she runs to become a city councilor alongside reaching the finals of Miss England

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Alex Evangelou-Shingler, 23, is standing in May’s local elections as an independent candidate for the Churchill ward of Oxford City Council.

She aims to swap the catwalk for the council chamber after recently being named Miss Oxfordshire to reach the final of the prestigious beauty pageant.

Alex is due to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of her campaign to make her community safer for women in the wake of the Sarah Everard case.

She is hoping to use her status as a beauty queen to influence change and get lighting installed in her local park to help students get home after a night out.

The second year social care student at Oxford Brookes University believes she she can win the backing of the student vote when they go to the polls on May 6.

The following month she’ll be competing in the Miss England final against 27 other girls at a glitzy ceremony due to be held in Coventry.

Alex, who is originally from Birmingham, said: “I want to use my Miss Oxfordshire title to create positive change and keep everyone safe.

“I first entered Miss England in 2018 to gain confidence in myself because I had been in a domestic abusive relationship for three years.

“I didn’t win but I absolutely loved it and realized I needed to escape that relationship which I did.

“I did so much community work campaigning against domestic abuse, I felt proud of that and I refused to give up.

“There’s a stigma surrounding beauty pageants, people think it’s going about in bikinis but it’s not like that, there’s a lot of charity work involved.

“A few years later I had the confidence to enter again and then I got crowned Miss Oxfordshire.

“It’s given me the self belief to go into politics and the main thing that is pushing me forward is the Sarah Everard case to do this campaign.

“I’d like to install lights in South Park, which is well known for rapes and assaults.

“It touches a nerve with me because most of the crimes that have happened in this park involve violence against women.

“This park is a well-used shortcut for students and families to get to the Oxford Brookes campus and to the halls of residence.

“Other residents have said ‘why don’t we use the road?’ but it is a very busy road and it not exactly easy to walk up especially if you are a student who has gone on a night out.

“We should be able to walk through a park whenever we want.”

Alex, who hopes to work in mental health when she graduates next year, is aiming to dislodge Labour Councillor Susan Brown from a seat she has held since 2013.

She added: “For me it is a single-issue campaign. My goal is to get 800 votes to beat the incumbent Susan Brown.

“We have done a poll of 3,000 students and 95 per cent said they would like lights in the park.

“I am quite confident that we will get the votes.

“I’m doing a lot in terms of my community and even have a meeting with Boris Johnson regarding my candidacy and what I am doing in Churchill.

“I’m working with someone who has connections and they somehow managed to set up the meeting for me with Boris.

“It is going to be about the safety of young women, not only in Oxfordshire, but over the country.

“I think that with everything that I am doing I could stand a chance of winning Miss England we well – but all those girls have been doing amazing things.

“But its certainly exciting to be involved in politics and beauty pageants at the same time – as you don’t usually put the two together.”

Alex will be competing in the next Miss England Final at the Heart of England Conference Center in Coventry on June 24.

A people’s choice vote will be held on the Miss England app throughout the month of June.

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