WATCH: Who is standing in the General Election 2017 in Mid Norfolk and why do they think you should vote for them?
PUBLISHED: 18:45 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:45 06 June 2017
Courtesy of Conservative Party, Tracy Knowles, Hannah Lester, Labour Party and Fionna Tod
We asked the general election candidates in Mid Norfolk to tell us why you should vote for them on Thursday, June 8. We also invited them to submit videos outlining their three priorities. This is what they said:
George Freeman (Conservative)
“This election is about giving Theresa May a mandate to negotiate a deal with the EU that works for us ALL.
“The British people voted last year, by 52pc to 48pc, to leave the EU.
“I believe we must respect the sovereignty of that decision and negotiate a new relationship as a free trade neighbour and partner of our European allies.
“Jeremy Corbyn is a longstanding socialist who has promised everybody more money to win votes. But, if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, we would actually see an economic crisis of confidence and disinvestment, LESS money for the NHS and schools, and EU leaders rubbing their hands with glee to punish the UK with a huge bill and terms of Brexit designed to try and drive us back into the EU.
“Plus, as a longstanding apologist for the IRA and opponent of our Armed Forces and our monarchy, he simply isn’t capable of leading the country or being put in charge of our domestic and global security.
“By contrast, Theresa May hasn’t ducked the issues. She has set out honestly the real challenges we face and put forward a realistic route back to prosperity.
“As the MP for Mid Norfolk, I am committed to fighting for our frontline public services, our local economy, fair tax and a sensible free trade deal with our European allies.
“There is no shortcut to getting this country back on its feet. On June 8th it’s a choice between Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister. As the EU Referendum, US and French elections have showed, we live in volatile times.
“If you want to wake up on June 9 with Theresa May as prime minister, you need to vote for her.”
Tracy Knowles (UKIP)
“I am Tracy Knowles, your Mid Norfolk UKIP candidate. I would very much like to cover the entire UKIP fully costed and independently verified manifesto today, however, for brevity I will simply make three key points.
“Firstly, I am the only true Brexit candidate. The Conservative candidate campaigned strongly to remain.
“Secondly, UKIP supports old and young alike, I think it is abhorrent to pitch one group against the other to get votes. Our pensioners are not a surprise, their social care needs should not be a surprise. Many have paid tax and national insurance for 40 years, we should not now subject those that have saved and accumulated some assets to a death tax.
“Previous governments have failed to plan ahead and make provisions past the next election.
“Then last but by no means least, UKIP is the only party that really cares about immigration and will ensure that numbers reduce. The other parties either support mass migration or have targets without dates, which are meaningless.
“If you want Brexit, support compassionate quality care for our elderly and want action on immigration, you must vote for change and vote UKIP.”
Hannah Lester (Green)
“I am standing in this election to offer a voice of hope on the ballot paper this June.
“The Green Party are the only party that are standing up for what matters when every other government in my lifetime has let me down.
“I was part of the first cohort to pay £9,000 a year in tuition fees, the prospect of owning my own home seems like wishful thinking and the idea that the NHS might not exist for the whole of my lifetime is sadly a real possibility.
“I have lived in Norfolk for almost my entire life and so I feel I have a strong understanding of the needs of the people in towns and villages like Dereham, Wymondham and Watton which make up the Mid Norfolk Constituency.
“If elected, I would work to provide much more investment in public transport, which currently offers no incentive not to just get in the car. People need to be able to access all of the towns and villages of Norfolk quickly, easily and cheaply.
“Green Party elected representatives in Norfolk and indeed across the UK have a proud record of opposing cuts to these services. We understand how they are ruining people’s lives.
“As a trainee solicitor I see first hand how cuts to people’s benefits or disability allowances, housing provision are destroying people’s lives.
“In me the people of Mid Norfolk would have a strong independent voice looking to improve the status quo by offering a positive alternative vision for our communities.”
Sarah Simpson (Labour)
“I’m an engineer, working in the transport sector, and in my work I get to speak to the public, business owners, farmers, and town and parish councils, about the problems they are experiencing.
“Everywhere I go people are saying the same thing: our infrastructure isn’t working.
“It’s become worryingly normal to have to wait two or three weeks to see a doctor as surgeries are chronically over-subscribed. Social care services in many areas are a mess, with people being let down because care isn’t joined up from hospital to home.
“Traffic has become a major headache for anyone living or running a business in a town or larger village and, in parts of Mid Norfolk, our domestic sewerage is failing. It’s 2017. Our infrastructure should not be this bad.
“If the nuts and bolts of our society aren’t working now, we cannot reasonably expect to leave the EU on the best footing. Getting a result from Brexit which strengthens Mid Norfolk’s economy, retains jobs, and maintains access for the £13bn of exports from our region to the EU each year is critical. But not at the expense of our living conditions and quality of life.
“Labour recognises that life has become less easy, more uncertain, and more expensive for the vast majority of people. If we form the next government we will improve the way our country works for everyone.
“Whether it’s improving the transport system, making development work for local communities, sorting out the NHS, or helping our small businesses, we will work for the many, not just a privileged few.”
Fionna Tod (Liberal Democrats)
“I am standing to be the Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk because I care passionately about representing our local community. I grew up in East Anglia, and will be a strong voice in parliament for my constituency and the region.
“Of course, Members of Parliament are by their nature party political, but at its core, the job of MP for Mid Norfolk is to make sure that my constituency gets the services and funding it needs.
“Over the past month, I have communicated with thousands of voters across Mid Norfolk, asking them what they see as the priority issues in the constituency. I have heard about the impact of the rising cost of living, about the impossibility of travelling just a few miles by public transport, about schools and health centres which are overburdened, and about threats to our beautiful countryside.
“As your MP I will make sure your concerns are not taken for granted by the next government.
“At a national level, Brexit will dominate the agenda in the next parliament. As a policy adviser on Brexit and foreign affairs, I understand the challenges of getting a Brexit deal that will support our local economy in Mid-Norfolk, protecting our farms and our jobs.
“And I, along with other Liberal Democrats, will fight to ensure that the Brexit deal is not a political stitch-up behind closed doors, and that the British people get the final say through a democratic vote.”