General Election 2019: South Thanet candidates so far answer our questions

Election candidates

A General Election is looming after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a poll on December 12.

The election coincides with yet another extension to Brexit with EU Council President Donald Tusk saying a “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament – is agreed in principle until January 31, 2020.

Here The Isle of Thanet News asked the South Thanet candidates how they would deal with issues affecting the constituency.

Craig Mackinlay, Conservative

What are your top 3 priorities for South Thanet?

A long-term solution to the issue of Ramsgate Port. It’s time we turned the page on hoping for ferry and shipping activities and focus on creating a mixed use development of leisure and hi-tech industries.

To roll back the threat of the county lines drugs trade which is in danger of taking root in Thanet. The drugs trade leads to a huge number of criminal and anti-social activities, as well as creating a future explosion of health issues, particularly mental health.

To fight further for national grants for regeneration. I want to see employment levels in South Thanet, steadily improving as they are, to become the same as the rest of the South East. Across many metrics, we lag behind across many areas.

How will Brexit impact/benefit South Thanet?

As a Brexiteer, and even a Conservative ‘Spartan’ I believe that the impact of Brexit to South Thanet will be positive. The country will be able to advance measures that are positive for inward investment, create a globally attractive tax system and expand global trade through new relationships and partnerships. South Thanet will feel the benefit of this. On a day to day basis in the short term, Brexit will be a little like the ‘millenium bug’ with many after the event wondering what the fuss was all about. The regaining of our democracy and independence is the true prize for all communities.

What are the most important economic factors for South Thanet and how do you aim to boost them?

We have higher than average unemployment, skills and salaries compared to the South East average. We need to attract the high skills, high wage businesses to the area. Discovery Park has done much to attract exactly these types of businesses. Improved rail connectivity will do much to enhance Thanet’s offer to investors. We remain in some limbo as to the future of Manston, awaiting a decision by the Secretary of State, due in January 2020. I have maintained for years that aviation activity at Manston, a key strategic asset that we have, can be the driver of economic renaissance for South Thanet and East Kent.

What would you aim to do in regards to housing and homelessness for South Thanet?

The government has a bold plan to eliminate homelessness within a decade. The issue is complex and not simply one of insufficient housing options, with personal issues as likely to be a factor. Modular housing offers a sensible solution to provide high quality, energy efficient homes within shorter time-frames. I would like Thanet District Council to identify additional sites for these projects but not necessarily abutting existing conurbations. Strategic planning for housing has for too long been about infilling and expanding around the edges of existing communities without providing the necessary infrastructure. We need to be bolder: I’d prefer brand new communities of new towns and villages, properly designed rather than the haphazard current plans. In any event, the 17,000 new homes by 2031 in the Thanet local plan will never be realised in my view. Developers will only build what they can sell, and this number will never be reached.

What are your views on climate change and tackling it?

This government is one of the first western governments to commit to zero carbon by 2050. I do have concerns that the many other large economies will not follow suit, and anything we may do will be for nothing except adding costs to consumers and industry, creating fuel poverty for many. We have moved faster than any other on the issue of plastic pollution through new taxes, banning of micro-beads and through consumer pressure to enforce change by retailers. We must be mindful of the need for energy security and the downside of importation of energy, primarily gas from hostile or unstable nations. I have a great interest in energy policy and will be researching and publishing papers on this in the near future. Too much Parliamentary bandwith has been expended on Brexit. We need to get Brexit done and move on to dealing with the issues that matter.

 What health  services are priority for South Thanet and how should they be implemented?

Shortages of health staff across the entire country is a key issue. The government proposes to make visa rules and costs easier for health professionals from around the world to come to the UK. Our own Kent medical school will help in the medium term. The way the NHS does business across procurement and the use of technology has been found wanting; solving these issues is a priority to free up time and money for better services. For South Thanet, we need to encourage more doctors and nurses to make this place their home. We have a lot to offer: great schools, a great environment and a great way of life. Government commitments for the biggest increase in NHS spending ever of £33.9Bn will make a real difference. Over a million NHS staff will get a payrise of at least 6.5%

Thanet has one of the highest crime rates in Kent. How would you aim to tackle this as an MP?

The provision of 500 more Police Officers across Kent will see Thanet with a significant increase in policing and resources. I maintain that the drugs issue is the key driver of a variety of crime and I will continue my campaign to highlight the dangers of muddled thinking about legalisation and non-enforcement of the law and will continue to ensure that Kent Police makes drugs enforcement a key priority.

What experience would you bring to the role of MP?

I bring a huge variety of skills to the role, both from my former professional life as a Chartered Accountant and my twelve years as a magistrate. I was a Councillor on a Kent unitary authority for eight years up to 2015 and have been the MP for South Thanet since 2015. Nobody knows this constituency as I do.

Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, Labour

What are your top 3 priorities for South Thanet?

The big things that need to be tackled straight away are jobs, housing and health, closely followed by education and the environment.

How will Brexit impact/benefit South Thanet?

A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for South Thanet. The government’s own report stated that “Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel”. That’s terrible news for so many people in a poor area like ours. We urgently need an alternative deal, which, if we do leave, will protect people on a low income. Nobody knows exactly how Brexit – if it happens – will affect us, but we do know that it’s a hugely risky step. That’s why we need to negotiate a new, better Brexit deal then ask the people to decide whether we leave or not

What are the most important economic factors for South Thanet and how do you aim to boost them?

The most important factor in Thanet’s economy is the lack of well-paid jobs. Unemployment here is double the national average, which saps the economic life out of our community.

Green jobs are the way forward. I’ve asked that one of the 37 new offshore wind farms Labour plans to build is sited off our coast and that jobs created go to local people. I’ve also asked that the Regional Energy Agency for the South East is located in Thanet or Sandwich, which would bring many more jobs to our area.

I’ve been working closely with our Labour councillors on exciting plans for how TDC’s spending can be used to create jobs in new local companies and co-ops. Of course, these enterprises will need investment to succeed and they’ll be able to get it from the £250 billion National Transformation Fund which Labour will set up once in power.

Tourism is the mainspring of our economy, and large numbers of people here work in hospitality, often in atrocious conditions. We must end the curse of low pay and zero hours contracts – Labour has pledged to do exactly that.

What would you aim to do in regards to housing and homelessness for South Thanet?

We urgently need to build more council housing – our aim is 155,000 council homes a year across the country over the next ten years. Labour will also clamp down on rogue landlords, introduce secure contracts for tenants and implement rent control. There has been a 165% rise in homelessness and a massive rise in food banks since the Conservatives came to power – that can’t be right.

What are your views on climate change and tackling it?

Global warming is the most serious challenge faced by humanity. If we fail to tackle it now, South Thanet will be under water. The Labour Party’s Green Industrial Revolution aims to rebuild the economy in an environmentally sustainable way. We’re planning to renationalise gas, electricity and water and invest in renewable energy. We’ll encourage the use of electric cars through loan and hire schemes, and we will plant a million trees across the NHS estate. Labour led on TDC declaring a climate emergency. We must now put this into practice.

What health services are priority for South Thanet and how should they be implemented?

Our GPs’ surgeries, our local hospital and our mental health services have all been starved of funding. We must invest in these areas. We must fight all cuts and closures, including the threat to our stroke unit and A&E. There’s a very serious danger that our hospital will be downgraded and our access to doctors reduced. We must rid ourselves of the private contracts that are creeping into our healthcare and diminishing services in pursuit of profit. And we must pay attention to social care, so that people who need care have somewhere safe to go. The Conservatives’ decision to close Wayfarers care home in Sandwich is ridiculously short-sighted in an area with such a large elderly population. Labour created the National Health Service, and we will set up an equivalent National Care Service. We will do things differently.

Thanet has one of the highest crime rates in Kent. How would you aim to tackle this as an MP?

The government has cut 20,000 police officers, so it’s not surprising that crime rates have gone up. Labour plans to appoint extra officers, support neighbourhood policing and give police the resources they need to keep people safe.

Poverty and crime are closely linked, so we plan to tackle poverty by creating jobs and a sustainable economy.

A common complaint we hear on the doorstep is that young people have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Labour has a comprehensive plan to rebuild youth services, reinstate youth workers and ensure that every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

What experience would you bring to the role of MP?

I work as a parliamentary researcher; for years, my job has been to examine policy and legislation, which is the main job of an MP.  My experience of working in Westminster means I will have a head start when it comes to getting what we need, both locally and nationally. But, perhaps more importantly, for years I have been at the heart of grassroots campaigns to save our health service, fight racism and build a new greener, economic future for Thanet. What could be better experience for South Thanet’s new MP?

Becky Wing, Green Party

What are your top 3 priorities for South Thanet?

  1. Reverse the cuts and fight for fairer funding for coastal and rural communities
  2. Protect our services, and in particular stand up for our local NHS
  3. Explore sustainable options for Manston airfield and the Port of Ramsgate

How will Brexit impact/benefit South Thanet?

We’ve all witnessed the political gridlock since 2016 and most people agree that the last 3 years have been a total mess. We desperately need our politicians to work together to find a clear and honest way forward without recriminations and name-calling.

Research shows that crashing out of the EU with no deal would be a disaster. In my work with young people, I’ve already seen cuts to vital services that used to be supported by EU funding which our Government is not replacing.

I’m extremely worried that a no-deal Brexit, or even some sorts of deal, will mean downgrading of workers’ rights, animal rights, environmental protection and security, and the threat to sell off our NHS to US drugs companies.

We all know what Remain looks like but not what Leave means to us as individuals. I believe everyone should now be provided with clear facts about how different outcomes would affect them, and then be given the chance of a confirmatory vote.

What are the most important economic factors for South Thanet and how do you aim to boost them?

South Thanet suffers from too few high-quality jobs and some of its worker have had too few opportunities to train and build up their skills – but has huge potential in tourism and green jobs.

I experience first-hand the high levels of unemployment and poverty in a number of communities in South Thanet through my work with young people and their families. We suffer from poverty of opportunity, which has created a climate where some young people and adults do not have confidence in their own potential.

We need to support small businesses to grow and thrive and look for ways to grow our tourism and expand green energy research, development and manufacturing, given we have plenty of wind, wave and solar power to exploit.  In the future, Thanet could be the Silicon Valley of green technology!

What would you aim to do in regards to housing and homelessness for South Thanet?

South Thanet’s housing policy must be based on local needs, not on Government targets. House-building must be based on sustainable, low-energy principles, so houses and flats are warm in winter, cool in summer and cheap to heat. A massive programme of retrofitting of existing properties is needed to make sure they’re properly insulated: this would help many families who currently struggle in fuel poverty as well as helping us reach zero-carbon by 2030.

We need to build high-quality social housing in places that don’t threaten existing communities or our green belt. In allocating this, we must prioritise the needs of local families and homeless people. We must ensure that developers provide a good proportion of affordable homes as part of any new development, and that they contribute through the Infrastructure Levy to providing the full range of services for the people who are going to live in those homes.

I would like to see a Blight Tax introduced on all empty properties, both residential and business, to encourage landlords to bring them back into meaningful use.

What are your views on climate change and tackling it?

Climate change is an issue that particularly affects us in South Thanet, as it means large sections of our coastline are under imminent threat of flooding, particularly around Sandwich and Cliftonville. We must stop building in flood areas, take decisive action to protect those communities and commit to tackling climate change immediately on a series of levels – from reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and investing them in green technologies to planting trees and encouraging biodiversity.

The Green New Deal, initiated by Caroline Lucas MP and others and now taken up by progressive politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, represents a radical rethinking of our economy, to ensure that as we move to a greener system it’s also a fairer one that leaves no-one behind. The green sector offers great opportunities for training and jobs, particularly in an area like South Thanet, which are just waiting to be explored.

We must ensure that the environmental protections we enjoy in the EU are maintained after Brexit, and that at the individual, company and government level we act now to ensure a safe, clean, green future.

As our Party Leader Sian Berry said recently: “There are bigger issues than Brexit. This must be the climate election. The future won’t get another chance.”

What health services are priority for South Thanet and how should they be implemented?

South Thanet has poor physical and mental health outcomes, so accessible, high quality health services, free at point of use, are essential. Yet we’ve seen local services like GP practices and NHS dentists shrink dramatically in South Thanet in recent years. This means many people have to wait a long time to see their GP, cannot find an NHS dentist or end up going to A&E with minor ailments because they can’t get through to their local surgery. This is a crazy waste of resources that must be stopped. We need Government investment, not only in high-profile hospital schemes but in friendly local services.

That said, we also need top-quality medical care for acute conditions, including a stroke unit within travelling distance of Thanet. Reducing the number of stroke units in the county means poorer services to the people of Thanet: this must be resisted. This is an area that struggles to recruit high quality staff, so premiums should be payable – and we should restore the nursing bursary to encourage more people to train.

Mental health and wellbeing are areas which have been neglected by the current Government – in fact, I’d argue that their austerity policies that have forced so many people into poverty have made the problem worse. I believe our Health Service should offer support for people to take positive steps to improve their physical and mental health, and recognise the role of Expert Patients alongside medical staff.

Finally, we must at all costs defend our National Health Service against creeping privatisation and ensure Brexit doesn’t become the trigger for selling off our services to US drugs companies. The NHS is precious and we must defend it!

Thanet has one of the highest crime rates in Kent. How would you aim to tackle this as an MP?

The first thing we need is to restore community policing. We need neighbourhood police who people know, trust and will work with.

In South Thanet antisocial behaviour has become a problem that affects all of us and endangers our tourist industry. We believe in the ‘broken window principle’: we need to tackle the small issues that affect our quality of life before they escalate, and establish expectations of decency, caring and kind behaviour in our communities. Keeping our streets clean and combating vandalism are part of this.

Some antisocial behaviour could be stopped by improving support services to the most vulnerable in our communities and reviving our decimated youth services, diverting those young people who get involved in vandalism into productive activities and helping them develop their potential.

What experience would you bring to the role of MP?

As an ex-teacher of 25 years, finishing as a Director of Specislism for Sport, Health and Well-being, I have a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience that can be transferred and developed further in the role of a MP. In addition, gaining an MA in Social Work I was lucky enough to experience working with both adults and children with additional needs and now work for Charlton Athletic Community Trust mentoring young people across Thanet. I am also greatly involved in my community and lead on the organising of the largest Revival Street Fair in Thanet, which focusses on bringing people together. As a newly elected Green RTC and TDC Councillor I feel I am making a difference both to individual residents, communities and Thanet. As a result, I am not afraid of a challenge, I have a positive work ethic and as one resident recently pointed out, my strength is ensuring ‘little issue are as important as the larger issues’.

Martyn Pennington, Liberal Democrats

Top three priorities for South Thanet

Thanet has been forgotten by the old parties. For instance, unemployment has risen by 10% here in the last year, but Whitehall doesn’t care, KCC don’t care, and TDC don’t care.  Our hospitals, instead of being expanded, are constantly under threat.  Our schools can’t provide the education they aspire to because of the cuts.

The first thing is to strengthen the environment our kids are growing up in, so we need to put more resources into our schools and youth activities, so all our young people can achieve their best, rather than doing their worst.

The second priority is to make sure the small businesses in the area can thrive and play their role in offering employment – we depend on them for so much, including our high street shops, our pre-school groups, our tradespeople, and so much more.

The third priority is to help health systems and social care to be as effective as possible.  The Liberal Democrats have proposed to put just one penny on income tax to provide immediate extra funding (not like the Tory promises of more money in 2023) for the NHS and social care, as a step towards a more comprehensive reform of the system so that it can deliver better outcomes for all ages.

How will Brexit impact/benefit South Thanet?

Well, the Tory-controlled administrations in Whitehall and in Maidstone (KCC) have been reluctant to release their studies on the effects of Brexit, so we don’t know for sure! Undoubtedly, growth will be slower in the medium term, and all of us except the richest will be worse off than if we had stayed in the EU. I don’t share all the ‘prophets of doom’ scenarios, and the collapse in the value of the pound since the referendum has already made it difficult to recruit many of the workers we need from other countries in sectors such as agriculture and catering.

For the record, I do believe the British people should be asked to ‘sign off’ the withdrawal deal with the EU.

What are the most important economic factors for South Thanet?

Unemployment in Thanet has shot up 10% in the last year.  We should look in the fairly short term to small firms, and service sectors such as tourism, to counteract this, but let’s also remember the importance of:

– agriculture, and food-related niche markets; and

– the opportunities of training and job creation at Manston, now that its reopening as an airport seems likely.

Longer term we need to build partnerships between schools, colleges and employers to enhance employability, especially amongst our young people, and also to improve the flexibility of the skills of those in the job market so that they can adapt more quickly to new markets and new technologies.

What would you aim to do in regard to housing and homelessness?

The old parties, Tories and Labour, have completely failed the country on the issue of housing, beginning with the sale of Council houses. Now we learn that the Tories pledged £2 bn for starter homes but did nothing afterwards!

One government after another has tied the hands of local authorities, so now they are panicking. The result is a draft local plan such as we have in Thanet, which proposes the wrong type of houses in the wrong places at the wrong time. In addition we have a stupid system in social housing, where you actually have to be evicted before the Council will find you somewhere else to live.

The first point I want to make is that the people of Thanet should be top of the list in every way.  We shouldn’t be building estates so that London boroughs can export their social problems to Kent. We shouldn’t be providing second homes for the rich, when people who live and work here can’t get the housing they need at a price they can afford.

The second is that decisions about planning houses shouldn’t be imposed on us by Whitehall.  For years, Thanet has lacked leaders with the guts to get on a train to London and bang the table. So we end up at the bottom of the pile.

Homelessness is a related but not identical issue. Yes, the shortage of council housing is one of the main causes of homelessness, but the real challenge is finding jobs for people and helping them to relaunch their lives.  Organisations like Porchlight and Emmaus should be given more support.

What are your views on climate change and tackling it?

We need to act on climate change, and act fast.  In the Coalition, Liberal Democrats made huge advances in encouraging the use of renewables such as wind and solar power, and we are beginning to see the benefits now. The Tories have done nothing about climate change, indeed they have scrapped most of the initiatives introduced by the Liberal Democrats.

What can be done locally? Making it easier to buy and run electric cycles, cars and vans would be good. Then there is the challenge of making our housing stock  better insulated; much of the housing in Thanet is Victorian or Edwardian, and  Westgate we had the idea of encouraging the construction of houses to show the advances being made in the design of ‘ordinary’ houses in terms of energy conservation and recycling.

What health services are priority for South Thanet, and how should they be implemented?

We believe health services should be as near the patient as possible. Local chemists can often play a role as a first source of advice on minor health problems, but for more serious health problems a surgery within a short distance and a hospital within 30 minutes drive are needed, which is why QEQM has to be kept as a hospital with A&E, and all the major medical and surgical wards.  Care of the elderly has to be completely reorganised and put on a viable basis, which is why we propose a penny on income tax as a first step.

Thanet has one of the highest crime rates in Kent. How would you aim to tackle this as an MP?

Crime results from deprivation, bad influences and (to some extent) weak policing. I believe that the police need both:

– a presence on the streets and in the community, through PCSO’s, and

– a strong intelligence network, through better co-ordination.

As an MP I would work with the Police and Crime Commissioner in tackling some of the social problems which may lead people to commit crimes.

What experience would you bring to the role of MP?

My work expertise is in getting value for money – what works and what doesn’t – so in all these areas I’ll be looking to achieve good results and outcomes at the lowest possible cost.  But I believe what Thanet needs is a real champion who will fight for this beautiful but deprived isle, and make our voice heard.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage decided not to contest any Tory-held seats, resulting in the withdrawal of Brexit Party candidates.

Deadline for publication of all persons nominated is 11.59pm today (November 14). All further persons nominated will be asked for question responses.

32 Comments

  1. ‘But, perhaps more importantly, for years I have been at the heart of grassroots campaigns to save our health service, fight racism and build a new greener, economic future for Thanet. What could be better experience for South Thanet’s new MP?’
    Can we clarify where these ‘years of campaigning’ took place and precisely what they consisted in? We know Dr. Gordon-Nesbitt joined the party after Corbyn became leader, however given her age and presumed experience, which elected roles, campaigning or otherwise, has she held and which specific campaigns did she lead or even sign up to prior to 2016? There is more to being an MP than swanning around the palace of Westminster soaking in the atmosphere.

  2. The words of MP for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay would carry more weight if he actually lived here, but like Roger Gale, he doesn’t! He again puts forward the need to re-open Manston airport, which has failed at least four times in the past, as a passenger carrier, due to lack of demand! It is now proposed to use the airport just for cargo flights, upwards of 2 to 3 an hour, day and night! Lets see what that would do for the climate, because these aircraft would have to fly in low at under 300 meters over Ramsgate Harbour, descending to 200 meters, and just 100 meters at St Lawrence! Imagine the noise and air pollution, and the devaluing of property because no one would want to live under a flight path.

    Then there is the destruction of jobs in the now thriving tourist industry around Ramsgate/Harbour, who would want to sit al fresco enjoying a drink, or meal with noisy, polluting cargo aircraft flying over Weatherspoons every 20 minutes!

    Leaving the EU will be a race to the bottom! Having a free market will mean our industry, and commerce would have to compete with highly skilled, and educated people in China, India, Malasia, and other countries who pay them a tenth of what our people get, and who can live very well on it. We need another referendum because people did not know the Terms & Conditions of leaving the EU, so they voted for something they didn’t understand!

    The EU is the second largest trading bloc in the world, after China! Did you know America joined the Pacific Rim trading bloc recently, comprising some 17 nations, but it took them 5 years of negotiation! Every country needs to have some form of trading agreements with other countries, to protect their own industries, which take years to agree! Leaving without any trading agreements will mean all these lower income countries will undercut us, so get used to eating a bowl of rice a day all you people who voted to leave! Vote for Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt and another referendum so that GB can renegotiate a better trading deal with the EU, or better still not leave it!

  3. Dr Gordon Nesbitt is the only one of those that has been actively campaigning to save the stroke unit at QEQM. Why haven’t the others felt it was important to save the lives of our local vulnerable people

  4. Roger Gale has lived in Thanet for years. I Used to vote conservative but having watched parliament on television and seen the very nasty party close up and for Johnson to throw the true conservatives out of the party I will never vote for them again. They really are a bunch of thugs in suits, there is certainly nothing honourable about any of them.
    Anyone who votes conservative needs to make an appointment with a psychiatrist. I will vote LibDem.

  5. How will the Port be a “mixed use development of leisure and hi-tech industries” with cargo planes over head from at least 6 am in the morning until 11pm and in some cases even later?

    How will South Thanet encourage more doctors and nurses to make this place their home. When the schools, environment and great way of life you speak of will be severely and adversely impacted by cargo planes over head from at least 6 am in the morning until 11pm and in cases later?

  6. Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt has been tirelessly campaigning on local issues such as the relocation of the stroke unit and preserving hospital services. I also like Labour’s plans for off shore wind farms, investment in housing and rent controls. Thanet desperately needs investment in local services.

  7. I know that Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt has campaigned tirelessly to stop the relocation of stroke services and to preserve hospital services in Thanet. I think that Labour’s plans for offshore wind farms could really benefit the area. We also need more council housing and rent caps and investment in public services. Looks to me like it has to be Labour.

  8. Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt has the only realistic chance of unseating our sitting MP who has done nothing to improve the lives of people in South Thanet. As lovely and principled as the Green Candidate is a vote for her or the Lib Dem candidate will merely see Mackinlay become our MP for another 5 years.
    If you want to see South Thanet prosper then it has to be a vote for Labour

  9. Liberals agreed with the tories to introduce austerity, lied about tuition fees and are one nation tories reserve team in reality, have no councillors in Thanet and voting for them in this area allows tories to continue to ruin our community

  10. To me Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt represents the new politics, kinder and more intelligent. I’ve been with her on countless local campaigns to save our hospital and I really admire her energy and commitment and basic integrity.

  11. Questions for Craig (Part 1)

    What do you mean, Craig, by “To fight further” for national grants for regeneration? What fighting have you done to date? Haven’t been aware of any ‘fighting’ on your part .. more riding on the coattails of others who have genuinely done so when – in very recent months – they’ve managed to get a few wins. Nothing whatsoever from you, for example, on the House of Lords Regenerating Seaside Towns Committee, either in oral or written evidence. Even I managed to get something in there, as a regular constituent.

    How and when have you fought for us in the past five years? Evidence please.

  12. Rebecca has the best record by far of all the candidates for South Thanet . My family has had members living in the constituency for over 200 years and I have known it for 6 decades. If elected she will prove to be the best MP South Thanet in its many incarnations has ever had.
    DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY – VOTE LABOUR for a better future

  13. No one should waste their vote voting for the Greens, or the LibDems, because they haven’t a hope of getting elected in South Thanet! The Labour party has many good policies that are shared with the Greens, and LibDems, so vote for (Dr) Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt
    the best Labour Party candidate and best qualified for decades!

    • It’s a polling card, not a betting slip. Voting for the person most likely to get elected is how we end up with the likes of Roger Galen for 36 years. How’s that worked out for Margate, eh? Still climbing the charts of the UK’s most deprived wards, I see.

      As for Craig, he got 50% of the vote last time on the basis that he was the most likely candidate to beat UKIP and/or ensure as smooth and painless a Brexit transition as possible. 3 votes against “the will of the people” and one vote for the will of Boris/Cummings/Putin later and where are we?

      This is an opportunity to finally turn Thanet’s fortunes around. Whoever your vote for, let’s get these useless, self-interested idiots out before any more damage is done to QEQM and our wonderful towns and people.

      The Tories have had 9 years. Gale’s had 36. Craig’s had 5, although that already feels like a lifetime.

      Vote with your conscience, by all means. And I honestly can’t see how anyone with any conscience could possibly vote Tory.

      • Not suggesting, by the way, that you would consider voting Tory, Dumpton. Pretty sure that’s not what you meant! My last post meant more for anyone who is, although my “betting slip” comment still stands!

  14. Questions for Craig (Part Two)

    Why even bother asking Craig anything about Climate Change?

    See how he completely avoids even mentioning it in his answer, talking instead about “energy policy”, (which is, at least, related), and – surprise surprise – Brexit, (which isn’t). He even has the nerve to claim “Too much Parliamentary bandwith has been expended on Brexit”.

    Seriously, Craig? Have you even read your own twitter feed over the last 3 years?

    You have been so completely obsessed with devoting what limited “bandwidth” your brain allows towards Brexit that you have completely ignored every other issue that really matters for the people of South Thanet – from QEQM to urgently needed investment. You don’t even care about the immediate environment on our own doorstep – let alone the planet.

    So Craig …. please do not insult our intelligence by pretending that you care one iota about Climate Change or NetZero. Quite apart from the fact that your support for the air cargo hub is totally inconsistent with this, on 6 possible occasions when you were present in the House of Commons on votes for measures to help address Climate Change, you voted AGAINST these measures on every single occasion.

    As an MP, you have a “Climate Score” of 0%. (Try googling “how Green is my MP?” for that one).

    • Oh crikey give it a rest! You are obviously greener than anyone else. yawn! Try picking up the used nappies I have to pick up on occasions in my road! You are nothing but a pair of bores! I’m sure you two could afford the air fares to Moscow, Peking, Delhi and Washington to make your point on climate change. Bet you two have a few miles in air under your belt in the last ten years?

  15. Thanks for your comments Laurence. Luckily, (for you and us), we’re not standing in this election, so …. yeah. Back to the election candidates, then …

    For the 8 millionth time this is why Craig, (and LibDem candidate) is totally barking up the wrong tree in thinking Manston is going to do anything other than completely devastate the local economy …

    1) It has been proven by every single bona fide aviation economist to be not viable over numerous reports. A business that is not viable will not create jobs.
    2) Unemployment in Thanet has cut in half since the airport closed. It dropped from 11% whilst the former airport was (barely) operational prior to closure in 2014, to around 5.5% today
    3) Air cargo planes flying over Ramsgate at altitudes of 600ft will kill inward investment, kill what growth areas we are currently experiencing – eg tourism and green energy – and, by the way, it will also kill your constituents. Please research aviation-related health impacts – including mental health.
    4) Needless to say, air cargo planes flying 600ft above the Royal Harbour are in no way consistent with Craig’s stated priority of supporting a mixed-use/leisure marina development. You can’t have both.
    5) Tony Freudmann – founding director of RSP. 25yrs of serial failure, most recently at Lahr Airport – immediately before his latest venture at Manston – where employees worked for 3 months without pay before the airport went bust, less than a year after his company took it over. The Mayor of Lahr confirms that no-one saw Mr Freudmann for dust afterwards.

    “RSP: Preparing for Take-Off”? Sounds about right.

  16. A lot of voters will be looking at which candidates are not honouring the referendum to leave the EU. Many have not changed their minds and knew exactly what they were voting for. That is to ‘Leave’. Ignoring this vote trashes democracy and is very chilling indeed. If any of the ‘remain’ candidates win, why should we accept the vote? Why should we not call for another vote and another until the minority gets what it wants? The future of democracy is at state here, and cheap slurs and insults to the contrary are intellectually lacking.

    • If that’s what’s really at stake then let’s not forget Craig Mackinlay voted AGAINST honouring the referendum result three times during the last parliament when he had a chance to “get Brexit done” nearly a year ago.

      He’s done just as much to frustrate “the will of the people” as he says remainers have.

    • “Many….knew exactly what they were voting for”? How can that be when most of us still don’t know what leaving the EU involves? Much better and more sensible to stay in and try to improve anything we don’t like about it from within the European Parliament.

  17. Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt is by far the best candidate. I wasn’t convinced at first but after seeing her energy and passion for her local area and improving the lives of her constituents I am completely convinced.
    RGN will be getting my vote. I am tired of lies from the conservatives and inaction from the lib Dems. You get my vote Rebecca!

  18. After reading through the statements from the candidates i feel Craig is just spouting rubbish and doesn’t event understand what he is on about. Becky Wing is passionate about what she is doing. Martyn sounds like Tory lite. Rebecca Gordon Nesibitt really hits the nail on the head when it comes to fighting poverty with economics. The Green New Deal Labour have planned would be just brilliant for places like Thanet. She has been campaigning tirelessly for our NHS in the area. She has has my vote because i can see Labour could create REAL change for us in Thanet.

  19. Its worth remembering Johnson lied to the Queen, to try and swindle getting parliament “prorogued” or suspended to bump us out of the EU without parliamentary approval, what a rogue! Johnson is a proven liar, a waffling fraud, and its a toss up between him and Caligua’s horse as to who would make a better Prime Minister! The alternative is Jeremy Corbyn, who has consistently voted for the best interests of the working people in the country, unlike the Tories who are only interested in making easier for the rich to pay less tax!

    How about this, although its not Labour Policy, I do not understand why people on minimum wage should pay any tax, I know someone who after stoppages takes home just £7.00 an hour on minimum wage! Yet the Tories want the rich to pay less tax, vote Labour, at least you know Corbyn won’t rip you off!

  20. Mackinlay and associates please can you explain how your policies in any way meet the pressing needs of so many of your constituents , rather than attending to the interests of the well healed

  21. Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt has been involved in the campaign to save the stroke unit at QEQM Margate. Craig Mackinlay has the nerve to say on his election leaflet that he led the campaign. He didn’t. He had nothing to do with it, and has been hostile to it. He surrendered before the fight had even started.

  22. Mackinlay’s comments just illustrate the fact that he lives 50 miles away and hasn’t got a clue about the problems faced in Thanet. A no-deal Brexit would see the motorways gridlocked, thus impeding vital deliveries. Also, has he heard about the services being pulled from the QEQM? As for the environment, maybe he should get rid of his 4×4 gas guzzler. Hypocrisy is his trademark. He’s self-serving and gives not a hoot about the constituency he is supposed to represent. Don’t even get me started on his patronising attitude towards women!

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