Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP candidates have been confirmed as standing in Wealden in the general election on Thursday, June 8.
They are Nus Ghani for the Conservatives, who was MP for the constituency in the last Parliament, Colin Stocks for the Green Party, Angela Smith for Labour, Chris Bowers for the Liberal Democrats and Nicola Burton for UKIP.
Nominations closed at 4pm on Thursday, May 11.
Nus Ghani, Conservative
Nus Ghani, Conservative, first won the Wealden seat in May 2015 and was unanimously re-adopted on Friday (May 5).
She said: “It was the privilege of a lifetime to be Wealden’s MP and I would be honoured if I was given the opportunity to continue being a strong voice for Wealden in Westminster.
“From standing up for the interests of Wealden’s farming community and pushing for infrastructure upgrades in our towns, to promoting our national security on the Armed Forces Bill Committee and lobbying for more funding for our schools, there is much I am proud of, but even more still to achieve.
“The next five weeks are important for our country and important for our local communities. I am ready for the fight and will be proud to defend my record.”
Campaigns have included fighting for improved train services, better broadband, more concerted support for farmers and more respite from aircraft noise for local residents.
Colin Stocks, Green Party
Colin Stocks, Green, grew up in Greater Manchester but moved to Crowborough in 1995. He and his family live in the town, and he works for an engineering company based in Tonbridge.
He has been actively involved in the area for many years. Colin served as a councillor for the Jarvis Brook ward on Crowborough Town Council between 2007 and 2011, and was deputy mayor in 2011.
He campaigned hard for improved public transport provision, later becoming trustee and volunteer driver for a charity providing a shopping service for elderly residents. As chair of the council’s environment committee, he was instrumental in creating the Country Park and Crowborough Ghyll nature reserves.
As secretary of the Jarvis Brook Community Association and facilitator in the Wealden Residents’ Action Group, Colin campaigned with fellow residents for new social housing in the town; Wealden District Council completed the development of more than 20 homes in 2014. Colin and the Community Association also created the Jarvis Brook skate park, which attracts young people from across the district.
Angela Smith, Labour
Angela Smith, Labour, who has lived in Wealden for more than ten years and brought up two children here says she understands the issues the area faces.
“Through my work as a domestic violence professional and my voluntary work as trustee of a local substance use recovery charity I have seen the terrible toll that austerity, particularly cuts to benefits and public services have had here since 2010.
“We in Wealden are not immune to this: Foodbank use is going up all of the time, schools are facing average cuts per child of around £400 by 2020; our health and social care services are stretched to breaking point and our transport infrastructure is crumbling.”
“I know we do not deserve to be treated like second class citizens any longer. We can fight back. It is not a foregone conclusion that the Conservatives will win, either in Wealden, or nationally.
She said there had never been a more important time to vote Labour to stop the decimation of public services.
Chris Bowers, Liberal Democrat
Chris Bowers, Liberal Democrat, came second to Charles Hendry, Conservative, in Wealden in 2010 and lost to Caroline Lucas, Green, in Brighton Pavilion in 2015 before working with her on a book, The Alternative, about cooperation among the progressive parties.
Chris Bowers said: “This is an election like no other. Theresa May has tried to make it solely about Brexit, but it’s also about education, the NHS and democracy itself.
“Her response to everything appears to be to say we need strong and stable government and a strong economy.
“Translated, that means she wants us to believe only the Conservatives can be trusted on the economy, and because of that we should trust her on everything – that’s a preposterous idea.
“The Liberal Democrats are the party of business because only we are fighting to keep meaningful engagement with the EU post-Brexit.
“And the NHS, secondary education and how we elect MPs in future are safer with us than with a government that cares only about money and the richest.”
Nicola Burton, UKIP
Nicola Burton, UKIP, said: “Not only have the Tories and Labour run the British economy into the ground so that massive borrowing is required to keep us afloat, but we are desperately unprepared to face the future.
“These parties of the 20th century have no answer other than to throw your money at their failing projects. They have no concept of new technology and how it will change things, and how we must change to stay competitive to maintain living standards; they seem content that our education ranks 21st best in world rankings.
“Uncontrolled immigration has been the hallmark of the Tory-Labour economic model. It has helped collapse wages so that one in five of us now lives in poverty, millions are dependent on food banks up and down the country, and even well-paid young people struggle to afford rent or buy their own home. This is not success in anyone’s language.
“UKIP has radical policies to make this country fair, free and prosperous for all. As Wealden’s MP, I won’t waver.”
Votes cast in the 2015 general election were:
- Nus Ghani, Conservative, 32,508
- Peter Griffiths, UKIP, 9,541
- Solomon Curtis, Labour, 6,165
- Giles Goodall, Liberal Democrat, 5,180
- Mark J. Smith, Green, 3,623
Find information about voting in the general election on the Your Vote Matters Don’t Lose It website run by the Electoral Commission.