Would-be Havering MPs fire first shots in battle for Parliament seats
- Credit: Archant
Havering’s parliamentary candidates have begun their efforts to woo voters by speaking to the Recorder following their party’s annual conferences.
In Romford, the present MP, Conservative Andrew Rosindell, will go toe to toe with Ukip MEP Gerard Batten in the May 7 general election.
Elsewhere, Ukip’s leader on Havering Council, Cllr Lawrence Webb, will challenge Hornchurch and Upminster’s current MP, Dame Angela Watkinson while Labour MP Jon Cruddas tries to hold on to his Dagenham and Rainham seat.
At the Conservatives’ national conference, prime minister and party leader David Cameron pledged a £7.2billion pair of tax cuts, raising the tax-free personal allowance to £12,000 and the threshold at which the 40 per cent rate is paid to £50,000.
Mr Cameron’s justice secretary, Chris Grayling, also alluded to plans to give Parliament the final say over the implementation of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.
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Ukip speakers vowed to introduce a luxury goods tax, only for the pledge to be scrapped two days later, and also said that they would abolish inheritance tax.
Labour leader Ed Miliband proposed pouring £2.5bn into the NHS, funded by a crackdown on tax avoidance, a “mansion tax” on homes worth more than £2m and a levy on tobacco companies.
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For the Liberal Democrats, business secretary Vince Cable attacked Conservative promises to balance the budget without raising taxes and said his party’s coalition partners were “ideologically obsessed by [spending cuts]”.
Back in Havering, the Liberal Democrat party has yet to confirm its prospective parliamentary candidates, as is also the case for the Conservative group in Dagenham and Rainham, but the Recorder spoke to the Tory, Ukip and Labour hopefuls to see what they would do for you, the voters.
Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative):
If the people Romford re-elect me, they will have an MP who will vote for a referendum on the EU.
I would vote to scrap Labour’s disastrous Human Rights Act, with British laws taking priority over judgments by the European courts and would vote to keep our economy on the right track, reduce wasteful government spending and put money back into the pockets of the hard-working people of Romford.
Romford is not a left-wing area – the good people of this town are patriotic, they love their Queen, country and flag, they believe in protecting our country by supporting strong controls on immigration, backing our brave Armed Forces and in giving the police the powers they need.
The reason I understand what matters to local people here in Romford is because I am a local person and have lived in Romford all my life.
The Conservatives offer the best future for Britain, England and Romford.
Sam Gould (Labour):
I’m standing to be the MP for Romford because over the last few years I’ve seen my neighbours, friends and family let down by an MP who spends too much time out of the country. Romford deserves better. My priorities are:
n Stop the closure of King George’s A&E. The decision by the Tories to close King George’s A&E will make Queen’s Hospital even more over-subscribed than it already is.
n Fairer cuts. Cuts need to be made, but in a fair way. Tories are giving tax cuts to millionaire bankers that caused this crisis while cuts are hitting the elderly, disabled and young hardest. The super-rich should not get a tax cut; instead, we need to protect key frontline services.
n Help residents through the cost of living crisis by tackling outrageous energy bills and bringing our railways into public ownership to stop spiralling train fares.
Gerard Batten (Ukip):
I have served as UKIP’s Member of the European Parliament for London since 2004, and opposed the never-ending torrent of EU law that is destroying our country. I am not a phoney “Eurosceptic”, I am the real thing – I want Britain to leave the EU.
As Romford’s MP, I would do my best to represent the interests of ordinary hard-working taxpayers and small business people, and those genuinely unable to help themselves. It is wrong that the minimum wage is becoming the maximum wage.
These are some of the things I will stand for: an end to uncontrolled immigration; putting British citizens first for jobs, housing and benefits; real penalties for criminals and no votes for prisoners; only English MPs to vote on English laws; and support for our former servicemen and women. As Romford’s MP, I will be put the interests of my constituents and England first.
Hornchurch and Upminster:
Dame Angela Watkinson MP (Conservative):
My constituents have told me that their main concern is the strain on public services caused by too much immigration.
I want to ensure every new arrival has the skills to contribute and the means to be self-sufficient until they are in work.
Landlords and employers must check the status of immigrants and appeals against refusal to remain in the UK should be made from the country of origin.
The two years after the election will be spent renegotiating our membership terms with the EU and returning powers to this country.
Everyone would be able to judge the reforms and decide in a referendum whether they want to stay or leave. Only the Conservatives would give this opportunity – Labour and the Liberal Democrats won’t and Ukip can’t.
From the oldest resident to the newborn baby, from the small business to the charity, and the people who help provide our public services, everyone is important and deserves a secure home and income.
Cllr Lawrence Webb (Ukip):
I was brought up in the constituency where I still live with my wife and two children.
I am a local councillor and represent the ward of Gooshays where I was elected as London’s first Ukip councillor in March 2013.
Before working in politics, I was a self-employed electrician and understand the impact that our membership of the EU has had on the lives of ordinary hard-working families. I also served in the Territorial Army for eight years.
As well as living and working in the real world, I represent a political party that is gaining support across the UK as people seek out a credible alternative to the main three distrusted and discredited political parties.
I feel very strongly about the negative impact that mass, uncontrolled immigration has had on our local communities, with increased pressure on housing, school places and NHS waiting times.
As your MP, I will represent you and only vote for things that are in Britain’s national interest.
Paul McGeary (Labour):
As your parliamentary representative, I would like to see three areas affecting our residents urgently improved.
I’d work to develop community services and the A&E at Queen’s and improve it to meet the growing population’s demands. It was designed to handle 90,000 attendances yearly but is currently handling 140,000.
There’s a need for an extensive council housing building programme to meet the need. I will campaign to make sure this happens.
With schooling, existing academies should remain and keep control of their budgets and land but council should be responsible for the performance of schools and have the power to intervene if any are failing.
Having been a councillor for the last four years, with your help I’d like to take the next step and become MP for Hornchurch and Upminster so we can help the people who have had a raw deal under the current government – working people, older people and disabled residents.
Dagenham and Rainham:
Jon Cruddas MP (Labour):
I work hard for Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park and am dedicated to ensuring that south Havering is not used as a dumping ground.
I joined the campaign against the Wennington landfill site, stood against plans to build a super-prison on the border of Rainham and I am currently running a huge campaign for better healthcare.
Whenever an issue is raised by residents, I consult the community and take their concerns to the highest levels, making sure people’s voices are heard.
I will continue to fight for a better deal for residents. We need more investment in our NHS.
We need to defend frontline workers. We need to protect our green spaces. And we have to ensure cuts are implemented responsibly.
I will be standing with the local community on all of these issues and more. Residents can contact me with any concerns via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Harris (Ukip):
I’m a local person from a working-class background who understands the needs of local people. I’m someone with business acumen and a reputation for plain speaking.
I want to be the voice for the people of Dagenham and Rainham and to fight tooth and nail for the community on the issues that matter to them most, such as an end to mass, uncontrolled immigration and the pressure it puts on schools, hospitals and GP surgeries, housing and jobs.
Our children’s education and job prospects can be improved by introducing grammar schools and more vocational training.
I am committed to support those that need help the most and will fight to end the bedroom tax and remove income tax for those on the minimum wage by raising the threshold to £13,500.
I believe in a free NHS and want to improve hospital facilities and increase the numbers of nurses and doctors and return control to medical staff such as matrons.