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Allegra Spender to vie for Wentworth seat

The daughter of an Australian fashion icon and Liberal party stalwart, Allegra Spender will seek to win the blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Wentworth as an independent at the upcoming federal election.

A business and not-for-profit leader, Ms Spender has worked as managing director of her mother Carla Zampatti’s fashion label, served as chair of the Sydney Renewable Power Company, and helmed educational disadvantage charity the Australian Business and Community Network.

Politics is a not a new venture for the family either, with Ms Spender’s father John serving as the federal member for North Sydney for a decade, before a stint as the Australian ambassador to France.

Ms Spender’s candidacy was announced by the Wentworth Independents group, which says it is time the electorate is represented by someone “who truly represents our values”.

“If elected, she will be a champion for new business opportunities, sensible climate action and robust government accountability in Canberra,” the announcement reads.

The 43-year-old will challenge sitting Liberal MP Dave Sharma for the seat.

He holds the electorate on a slim margin of 1.3 per cent after winning it back from another high profile independent, Kerryn Phelps, at the 2019 election.

Ms Spender told Nine Newspapers her bid to oust him was “nothing personal”, but the need for climate action had compelled her to offer voters in the electorate a better choice.

“It’s really about what he stands for. He says he is a moderate, but he votes with Barnaby Joyce,” she said.

“He hasn’t been effective in driving the agenda for Wentworth.”

She wants to see the country adopt a 2030 emissions reduction target of 50 per cent or more.

“Both from a climate point of view and an economic point of view, this is an urgent issue, and it’s the next 10 years that’s really important,” she told Nine.

“It’s an environmental crisis and an economic opportunity.”

Ms Spender’s campaign will officially be launched on Saturday, November 27.

The electorate is the second smallest in the country, but its richest, and has been held by a bevy of high ranking politicians, including former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – a family friend of Ms Spender.

The seat has been a safe non-Labor seat since federation, and has elected only one non-Liberal since the party was formed in 1944.

In a 2018 by-election triggered when Mr Turnbull was ousted as prime minister and quit politics, Ms Phelps narrowly beat Mr Sharma.

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