James Cleverly MP visits Eastbourne as Conservatives gear up for possible general election

Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly MP visited Eastbourne today (Friday).

Friday, 25th October 2019, 5:17 pm
James Cleverly and Caroline Ansell in Eastbourne today
James Cleverly and Caroline Ansell in Eastbourne today

The Herald interviewed the Braintree MP as he canvassed with the town’s former MP Caroline Ansell in Burton Road.

It was clear the local Conservative party is preparing for an election, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday (October 24) he would be calling for one on December 12.

Mr Cleverly said, “I’m here to help Caroline Ansell again, get her get reelected back to Parliament, because she was doing great work as an MP when she was there and I want to make sure she gets back representing the local people again.

“An election’s got to come at some point soon, we’re in this crazy situation where opposition parties – The Labour party propped up by the Lib Dems – are preventing the Government from governing.

“And we want to invest in the NHS, increase teachers’ starting salaries, get more police officers on the beat, invest in transport infrastructure – we’ve got all these things we want to do and the opposition parties are saying no to everything.”

On taking No Deal off the table, a condition opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has said will get the Labour Party to back calling an election, he said, “We got a deal that the EU was happy with, businesses were happy with, Parliament claimed it was happy with, even though they then voted against it. The other way is to revoke Article 50.”

Then, when asked whether a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ which his party is pursuing would damage the economy and harm poorer communities, Mr Cleverly said, “We’ve negotiated a deal. This is a deal that’s been welcomed by the Bank of England, it’s been welcomed by business, representative groups, it will see us deliver on the explicit promise we made.

“And all political parties made this promise that they would abide by the referendum result. We can continue growing the economy, focusing on the things people want us to focus on, and make sure the economic growth reaches everybody.

“So we’ve done our bit and yet what we’re seeing is the Lib Dems and Labour going back on what they promised and trying to block the referendum result.”

Caroline Ansell, who was MP for Eastbourne from 2015 to 2017 to , said, “I left a great deal of unfinished business when I left off being Member of Parliament.

“Eastbourne will rise or fall on its transport connectivity, so I will be back on the case for the A27 and for improving rail services, supporting Gatwick, that second runway, really important to Eastbourne to raise prosperity here so there are opportunities for the next generation.

“I’ll be back in there again fighting for funding for schools and of course I’ve got a very long record fighting for the NHS.”

The Herald interviewed current MP Stephen Lloyd last week. Read more here: Stephen Lloyd on tomorrow’s Brexit vote, death threats, and a possible election