South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: A mixture of Kent and Thanet issues

Craig Mackinlay

A mixture of Kent-wide issues as well as ones relevant to South Thanet have occupied me over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve written before about the financial pressures that Kent County Council faces as they reach for ill-conceived, low-value savings like the closure of Richborough household waste and recycling centre. The latest thoughts coming from County Hall is whether an elected Mayor for Kent might be a better formula to deliver devolution away from Whitehall decision making and with it greater control of Kent-wide funding?

Early days in the discussions and I have not yet come to a conclusion myself. Other meetings with Kent MPs have included the Lower Thames crossing. A project that was needed ten years ago to alleviate the bottleneck at the current Dartford crossing but seemingly still at first base with further community consultation required and no prospect of being completed until the 2030s. As a country we are dreadfully slow at getting on with major infrastructure projects whether it’s airports, river crossings or much needed reservoirs, bound up as we are with political and legal activism, judicial reviews, environmental reports and carbon budgets.

The Boundary Commission has finalised its nationwide review of constituency boundaries. The commission has stuck with the previously published proposal which makes quite substantial changes to the North Thanet and South Thanet seats. The Commission sensibly does a review every few years to try to keep constituencies at a similar number of electors. Canterbury had grown and so excess voters had to be accommodated in the East Kent Parliamentary seats. Myself and Sir Roger Gale had advanced a plan that would have only required 3,000 electors to be moved and the geography of the seats largely unchanged from 1983. The Boundary Commissions final plan is for over 30,000 electors to be moved. All somewhat bizarre and I have to say inexplicable and unnecessary.

The Armed Forces Day parade in Ramsgate was a superb event as we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and thank those in service today. Good crowds and glorious sunshine. Local youth organisations – scouts, sea scouts, sea cadets, cubs and similar offer youngsters teamwork, discipline and training in new skills and were well represented.

I held a Business Forum in Broadstairs last week. I advertised it as an opportunity to ‘meet, mingle and moan’. My thanks to Thanet & East Kent Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business, Institute of Directors and Department of Work and Pensions for joining the platform. Common themes from businesses were frustrations in dealing with HM Revenue and Customs, VAT thresholds, difficulties in finding staff, the increased Corporation Tax rate and level of bureaucracy throughout the system. Lots for me to take back to Treasury Ministers in advance of the Autumn statement.

The Appeal Court’s decision of last week to overturn the High Court’s previously positive decision of the lawfulness of the Rwanda relocation policy is disappointing. Whilst I’ve maintained throughout that the Rwanda scheme was never ideal, when the tools in the box are limited one has to reach for a different measure that may work. The plan is underpinned by deterrence. The fact is that we are simply running out of temporary accommodation and the settled summer season is likely to see more attempts. I’ve long ago run out of patience. The most elegant method of stopping the lucrative trade offered by people smugglers would be for the French to stop the beach launchings by dinghy. Is that really too much to ask of our neighbours especially as we’ve been willing to pay for it?

Parliament sits for two more weeks before Summer recess. You can be sure I’ll be speaking on many issues from energy to housing and will doubtless pop up for comment on a variety of media channels.


  1. I don’t think a “Mayor is going to resolve anything. Just another case of too much power concentrated in one person’s hands. Look how well that works in London!🤣
    Several decades ago the idea of creating two separate councils to govern Kent was unsuccessfully mooted. Given that Kent, after the combined Yorkshire authorities, is the largest county in England, has an ever increasing population and a distinct historic split between Men of Kent & Kentish Men; I believe this idea should be revisited.

  2. Boundary changes means margate will the very first time will have a Labour mp. Welcome to red margate craig

    • If you think SIR (as us plebs must call him) Keir’s government are going to be ‘red’; good luck!

  3. Mckinley, Gale, and many at TDC including the Cllrs and officers are the issue. Sooner they are out the better. Rotten to the core.

  4. What a strange individual Craig is.The world is upside down, yet he says nothing about the failing water industry,a failure of the govt to implement the climate change policies it has been trumpeting is being world leading.
    If we also think of rail strikes,doctors strikes, and worse still consultant strikes, he goes on instead about what? Household waste recycling centres and his constituency!
    I can help him with the Mad Mayor scheme, it is an ill thought out,made in Maidstone bit of group think,whose only purpose is to save KCC from the Chop.
    For once I agree with Harry Webb it is bad scheme and shows that KCC has no idea what to do for the future.The local govt reform plan that Harry is think of is Redcliffe -Maud.This would have broken up Kent into two halves,East + West Kent.It dates from 1968/9.It never happened because KCC and others pulled strings with the Heath Govt, and we ended up with a divided council system of County and district councils.
    It’s time for change, it’s time that Craig spent more time with his family, dog, cat,anything, and left the poor people of Thanet alone.

  5. Hi Mr McAirport, a little tip, your constituents are a bit bothered by the car crash that is Brexit, not being able to afford the roof over their heads and not being able to afford to eat. That and the poo in the sea. Perhaps focus on those issues so like the prime minister, you don’t reveal just how out of touch you are!

    • RamsgateResident, It appears the undemocratic, unaudited EU is the car crash just now. Most definitely on the descendancy in terms of finances and community unity. But good for some of its MEPs for speaking out against the destructive covid measures and the EU’s lack of transparency over dodgy big pharma contracts. And you can mirror that right across the world as the real harm – the gigantic elephant in the room on what’s destroyed many economies and the well-being of the young and some old alike.

      • Cite your source Democrat, I’d like to read the research that supports your argument. Whilst I have, can you list the tangible benefits of Brexit?

        • Benefit = not paying the EU and not being under their law. Not to mention MEP’s cannot introduce legislation, which is backward. Cite my backside, because this is fact.

  6. Mackinlay’s a climate change denier -I expect he also thinks lockdown was a bad idea and that covid vaccines are lethal poisons.

    • There’s a huge gulf between denial and questioning. There’s a lot of distortion in the “facts” presented, there is talk of global sea temperatures, but the way these are taken and presented is hardly consistent, highest ever- is a common term used but fails to say that the data comes from sources with only a 20 year history, or there’s a mix of spurces that averages out as being higher, in the absence of proper historical evidence such data is worthless. Then when it comes to sea temperatures , surface temperatures are extrapolated to the entire ocean volumes with no verification that this is the case. There is a theory that seal level rises can largely be accounted for from the volumes of water extracted from aquifers plus neither is there any allowance for the amount of water that is created as a by procpduct of the burning of hydrocarbons, whilst still due to fossil fuels there’s a bug difference between water from a chemical reaction and melting of ice/ expansion due to rising temperature.
      But many of these papers and views are removed on the grounds of climate change denial, where as they are questioning the reasons for the changes and wether it is directly a result of “man made global warming”, which is a phrase that has been dropped in favour of “climate change”, why is it deemed correct to remove alternative views and theories?

  7. So he says “As a country we are dreadfully slow at getting on with major infrastructure projects”. Well what do you expect Craig, its all part of this countries descent into 3rd world status! And if as he says “30,000 electors are to me moved is somewhat bizarre, inexplicable, and unnecessary” what is he going to do about it? Has he and the over chocolate tea pot MP for Thanet challenged this decision?

    So he addressed a Business Forum did he, did he mention the proposed destruction of all the businesses in Ramsgate Harbour, the town, and major devaluing of property in mostly the CT11 postal district if Manston re-opens with low flying cargo aircraft flying in at less than 30 meters high over the harbour, which he is so fond of promoting, the traitor!

    And he says “The best way to stop people smugglers would be for the French to stop beach launches of small boats”. Here’s a question Craig, why should the French stop them? They are not obliged to now we are out of the EU, so its to their advantage to shift the problem over to us isn’t it, rather than have to feed and accommodate asylum seekers in France, which is what they used to do when we were a member of the EU! No the best way to stop asylum seekers is to re-join the EU, then they would have to claim asylum in the first safe EU country they entered, Duurh!

  8. Let’s blame leaving the European Union for absolutely everything and while we are at it call everyone that voted to leave vile, racist, transphobic bigots. Oh and also everyone that voted to leave is really uneducated because the people that have the degrees are the really intelligent people even though they seem to lack basic COMMON SENSE

    • You seem to have nailed it Sparky, and yes, all those people who voted to leave the EU hadn’t a clue what they were voting for, and still don’t because no one knew what the Terms & Conditions were! Duurh!

      • I know precisely what I voted for.
        What was on the ballot paper.
        Subsequent to the ballot result, the utterly bemused Establishment was caught off guard.
        Instead of carefully reflecting upon what was a consultative vote and giving an honest opinion to the electorate. The Establishment has serially pretended to go along with the expressed will of the people. Whilst serially failing to take any serious steps to make the separation real and permanent or, inform the public that it would not be taking their advice to leave.
        There can be no trust without honesty and courage. Not a single individual in Westminster has either.

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