Labour parliamentary hopeful for East Thanet kicks off election campaign with Emily Thornberry MP backing

MP Emily Thornberry and Polly Billington

Labour’s Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry has been in Ramsgate this morning (September 30) to help launch the General Election campaign for the party’s Thanet parliamentary hopeful Polly Billington.

Emily Thornberry has been MP for Islington South and Finsbury since 2005 following a previous defeat in the 2001 general election, when she stood as Labour candidate in Canterbury, but lost to Conservative incumbent, Julian Brazier. She had ties to the city after studying law at the University of Kent, graduating in 1982.

The campaign launch began with a meeting of Thanet Labour members at the San Clu in Ramsgate and was followed by a door knock within the constituency.

Polly was selected in February by Labour to fight in the next general election for what is currently the South Thanet seat.

Boundary Commission changes mean it will become a new constituency of East Thanet taking in Ramsgate, Broadstairs and most of Margate while Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate form part of a Herne Bay and Sandwich County Constituency.

Former BBC journalist and then media director for MP Ed Miliband, Polly, 55, is also a director of UK100 and a councillor in Hackney.

Polly says she is campaigning for new council homes, cracking down on bad landlords, creating new and better jobs, protecting our coastline, and rebuilding our National Health Service.

Emily Thornberry said Polly is the person to “get things done.”

She said: “When Ed Miliband was leader and Polly was working in his office, if you wanted anything done you could ring the boys or you could ring Polly and she would get it done. Having a woman who gets things done is important I think.”

Emily says Polly will give a voice to constituents in Parliament, something she says is seen as lacking currently.

Housing, in terms of social homes but also affordable rents, is one area that both Polly and Emily say they are passionate about.

Polly said: “There are a lot of people over 30 living with their mums and dads because they just can’t afford a home, we need genuinely affordable homes for local people.”

Polly says she will also campaign for greater regulation of Airbnb which can reduce available properties for long-term let.

Emily says the most important thing for Labour to do is “turn the economy around,” saying the government of the last 13 years has “achieved no growth and no investment in public services.”

She said: “We need to turn it around and be radical, investing in our economy, generating our own electricity and having battery plants to build our own cars, areas like those generating power with real green jobs so we never depend on Putin or anyone else.”

A Green New Deal for Thanet is one of Polly’s pledges. She said: “We generate enough power for 40,000 homes through offshore wind here already but so much more could be done.”

Polly says getting the unemployment rate down, creating jobs and making sure energy bills are lowered by making homes fit for purpose are all priorities.

She adds: “I will work closely with residents, trade unions and businesses to build a green economy with people and greater equality at its heart.”

General Election

Election count 2019

The current Parliament first met on December 17, 2019, meaning it will be dissolved on December 17, 2024, at the end of the five year term.

Polling day would take place 25 days later, meaning the next general election is due to take place in January 2025 unless an early election is called.

In the 2019 General Election Conservative Craig Mackinlay took the South Thanet seat with more than 56% of the vote.

He polled 27,084 votes, some 10,587 ahead of nearest competitor, Labour’s Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, who gained 16,497 votes.

Veteran Conservative Sir Roger Gale, who has held the North Thanet seat since 1983, was elected with 30,066 votes – equalling 62% of the poll. Labour’s Dr Coral Jones took 12,877 – 27%.

Sir Roger has confirmed he will be standing again in the next General Election for the revised Herne Bay and Sandwich seat.

General Election 2019: The results, the count and the candidate views for Thanet


  1. In times past I would have been cheering and greeting our hopeful Labour MP candidate. However thanks to that woman Jenny Dawes and the Labour clique who she mixes in who turned their backs on the employment opportunities for east kent by trying to stop the reopening of Manston Airport I could not care less about any wannabe Labour MP I won’t be voting Labour at the next election neither will any of my family.

    • Your votes won’t be missed.
      The “Labour clique” was voted back in with an increased majority at the last LE.
      I think that is extraordinarily naive of you to think that a functioning Manston Airport would create employment opportunities. For every job created, you can be sure that others would be lost in the tourism sector.
      I do hope that you do vote, as long as you vote thoughtfully.

      • I thought that Manston airport is being promoted as a “state-of-the-art” facility. So it sounds like there will be EXCELLENT employment opportunities – for robots.

        • Jenny Dawes did appeal against Justice Dove decision to Grant the DCO on Manston Airport.If he dismisses her appeal she will send it to the Court of appeal.

      • Phyllis Quot, the reason Labour got a big majority, was because nobody wanted the Job, I ask you to explain, what Tourism Ramsgate has, have you been to Ramsgate Town Centre lately, it is Dead, all because the Labour Council, have spent Rate payers money on fighting the Judicial Review, which could of been better spent on Ramsgate Town Centre, did I get asked, if I wanted Rate Payers monies wasted on fighting the Review, no, it was all done behind closed doors.
        I, like Bill will not be voting for Labour, I always thought they stood for Job creation, it seams, not anymore.

        • I’ll be voting for labour. The Tories are a bunch of heartless so-and -sos who have no intention of making things better for most of the population.

          • Says someone who never goes anywhere else. I was in Cranbrook yesterday and Tenderden the day before, and despite the occasional closed shop, they’re a damn sight better than Ramsgate.

        • The reason Labour were elected was not because no one wanted the job, or why did so many parties put up councillors to elect ? There will be no Tourist trade in Ramsgate after and if, Riveroake plans for 2 flights per hour. 6am yo 11pm happen. Hotels and B&Bs will close as will cafe’s and reataurants . What about all the people unemployed, do you think they will all be employed by Riveroake , I think not?

        • Tripod and Bill are morons! Ramsgate Harbour area thrives for tourists/visitors, and re-opening Manston will kill it off! Jenny Daws isn’t alone, thousands of pounds have been donated for the Judicial Reviews, by mainly Ramsgate people and people living in the CT11 postal area! My guess is pro Manston people do not live under the flight path like those who will have their property devalued if Manston re-opens!

          • “Trains and boats and planes”, as Billy J. Kramer said. I love seeing, and indeed using, all three.

    • Whatever stance one takes on arguably the most divisive issue currently being debated locally ad nauseum, ie Manston, I think it is about time Labour’s candidate told us exactly where she stands. Given how local Labour continue their full-throated opposition to the Manston project it surely is a pointer towards how she probably feels about it. But we still do not know. Why the silence?

      • Nigel you are right! I emailed Ms Billington long ago asking what was her position on Manston and never received a reply! I never vote for people who can’t be bothered to reply to my emails, or letters!

  2. Red margate replaces blue sandwich making east thanet new constituency a marginal seat between labour and conservatives.every vote will count.

  3. Bill it’s just as well you could not care about the new Labour candidate, it’s thanks to Labour that we have had to put up with this corrupt U.K. ruining government. Labour are so bad in opposition that voters don’t trust them in government so vote the evil Tories in time and time again. I share your frustration.

    • If you think an out of town labour MP will make a difference then make sure they are from Thanet, not from up the line. Will not vote for her as will be no good for Thanet. Come on labour you could do so much better as get rid of Everett then you might have a chance

  4. Britain exported £337.7million worth of food and drink to Australia the year Emily Thornberry said that if Britain left the EU we would not be able to export Food and drink there as it would go off. Thick as two short planks …

  5. Both of these people would have us back in the European Union like a shot and condone uncontrolled migration. NO THANK YOU!!

  6. I will NOT vote for a party that does not know what a woman is … A party that promotes men in female spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards, rape crisis/domestic abuse groups, prisons. I will not vote for a party that promotes drag acts in schools and public places like libraries. I will not vote for a party that supports uncontrolled migration, I will not be voting Labour.

      • If the Labour Party are unable to explain what a woman is I would suggest it is them that do not know what they are talking about, let’s hope one of your relatives is never raped and put in the situation whereby she is terrified of sharing female spaces with men. And yes I have said it before and I will keep on saying it, dont like it? Scroll on …

  7. I’m sure that Polly is very politically aware and knowledgeable but why can’t either of the main political parties offer up a candidate who lives in, knows and understands the constituency in which they’re standing for election?

    Surely an MP that has life experience of the community that they wish to serve will be more useful than one that’s ‘parachuted’ into the constituency just because central office analysts think they tick the right boxes?

    Maybe I’m just naive

  8. Polly is an excellent candidate and will be a brilliant constituency MP.

    She has thrown herself into this community over the last few months and will give everything for the people of Thanet who desperately need a positive, compassionate Labour government to replace the heartlessness of the austerity-driven Conservatives.

    We’ve already got a Labour Council – let’s complete the sweep and turn East Thanet red – bringing some kindness to our towns.

  9. I think it is going to be a hard ask,to expect the good electors of East Thanet to vote for Craig,when all he and his party have delivered is chaos and destruction.Ms Billington will have to go some to be worse than Craig,Truss,Johnson,May and Cameron,but at least these fine examples of conservatism will garner the votes of ‘Bill’ &’Tripod’,and I am sure they will be pleased to accept them.In the other Thanet seat Old Father Time Sir Roger will no doubt gain the votes of all the bungalow Bill’s and Betty’s in Birchington not forgetting the cross dressing Checksfield.
    The serious thing about all this is if all that happens is the usual conservative Labour policies of Blair and to some extent Gordon Brown, operate,all that will happen instead will be that the electors will give up and vote in some populist numskull like Braverman or worse,some git,who we have never heard of,who will promise to make Britain great again,which will instead break up Britain.
    What is needed is a deeply rooted perseverance with a policy of reform at all levels,which rewards invention,hard work and enterprise.At the moment only those with capital get rich, because they can sit on assets and charge rent for using it,while contributing nothing to the overall performance of the economy.
    Many of the young are finding out that it is not talent and perseverance that are rewarded,but instead pelf and place are the controlling priorities.This is not something that will stand for ever.It would be better for all of us if social mobility and social justice were allowed to operate more widely, because the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate.

    • Georgie Porgie, you sound very angry and bitter. It’s a lovely day – go outside for some sunshine and fresh air.


      Ms. Pink X

    • George Nokes, M.M. Rees & the rest of you, who will vote for Polly Billington, be careful what you vote for, she is a Staunch supporter of ULEZ, I can see it now Thanet Council will be rubbing there hands, thinking of all that ULEZ money coming in.

      • I’m also a supporter of ULEZ. The current government has done very little to improve public transport and safety for pedestrians, let alone what it has done and intends to do to the environment.

        • How will ULEZ help? It just means that the well-off will be clogging up London’s roads instead of those struggling financially.

  10. No difference between the main political parties. They were all happy to participate in hugely damaging and crippling nonsensical lockdowns and experimental big pharma damaging jab campaigns with excess death rates currently soaring way above the norm. Let alone their ignorant positions on the Ukraine situation. Many voters now shun them and look for more honest alternatives, and ignore the corporate mainstream media spin on politics as well.

    • I’m surprised that Kathy allows your fake news to be published on the IoTN.
      The lockdowns were the only tool in the box when the pandemic first struck, until the mass rollout of vaccines, which have save hundreds of millions of lives worldwide. Deaths attributable to vaccination are miniscule compared with the number of deaths Covid would have caused.
      As to ignorance, Mr Democrat: you are an exemplar.

          • Herd immunity depends on a sufficient number of the population achieving a level of immunity through catching Covid (for example) or being vaccinated.
            Unfortunately, the nature of the virus causing Covid is that immunity doesn’t stop you being a carrier. Nor does it allow for the fact that this virus mutates often.
            The best defence is to get yourself vaccinated if you’re eligible, and exercise common sense when engaging in social activities.

  11. Ah! I see some comments have hit home! Rather than answer the issues head on, the usual bunch of keyboard reactionaries respond with nonsense (Checksfield),or unhinged rants about COVID (Democrat). For the record I do support ULEZ because motoring has killed enough people without adding to the score by killing those with breathing difficulties.This is one of the hard choices we need to make.You are the same individuals who complain about urban sprawl and development. Being ‘the motorists friend’will only make this worse.Please tell me how the PM is going to free up congestion on the M25 with these new ideas I spent several hours last night sat in queues while one bit after another of bad driving was cleared from the road.It is not a war against the motorist it is trying to fit 40m road vehicles within a medieval road system without paving over more of our towns and countryside.

    • Hey there, Georgie Boy, I do hope you’ve been outside walking or cycling rather than for your usual drive.

  12. Thank you Andrew , yes as in the case of smallpox .
    My question was to let ms Pink demonstrate its scientific genius and usual agent provocateur behaviours – which was amply shared -as usual

    • Peter, either you are incredibly naive if you think that Covid and the common cold are the same, or you are a troll.
      Millions have died as a consequence of Covid. Just about no one has died of a common cold.

          • Because, as you suggest, it has made it no more than a minor inconvenience – all without a vaccine or lockdowns. Covid is gradually going the same way.

  13. Polly Billington’s rhetoric might sound left-wing, but her actual policies aren’t. No wealth tax, no removal of charitable status for private schools, and funnily enough NO GREEN NEW DEAL. THAT was a product of Labour’s excellent 2019 manifesto under Corbyn, not Keir Starmer. He is set to either water down his commitments or scrap Labour’s previous plans entirely. Oh, I forgot to mention that Labour have no plans to repeal the new Public Order Act or stop the Government’s new oil and gas projects which they say they will bake into their new energy policy. Please do not listen to what Billington is saying, because what she is promising is not an accurate reflection of current Labour Party policy, nor is it affordable (unless you either 1) pander to big business and get chummy with the private sector, which is their plan or 2) introduce radical socialist policies as we saw in the 2019 election manifesto which meet the needs of ordinary working people by redistributing wealth away from the top earners). You have to choose a side, and Labour side with big business.

    • You have to occupy the centre ground to win a general election. Blair understood this which is why he (at least in terms of seats) was the most successful Labour leader in recent history. Corbyn probably did understand it but dogmatically refused to shift policy to the centre. Instead tapping into some weird 1970s socialist utopia which modern voters just don’t resonate with apart from those who thought he was the next Messiah and simultaneously cracking down on any dissent or opposing voices via the nefarious Momentum movement.

      Thus, he became another Labour wannabee PM .

  14. If you think Ramsgate is in a pitiful state it is because the opening of Westwood Cross hollowed out both our main town centres, because the big High Street stores would rather be ‘up there’ than in our town centres, because we no longer shop in our town centres, because we no longer holiday in our own country (well, not before Covid anyway), because too many of us shop online instead. We can’t expect tourist attractions and shops to survive on no income while paying staff and rent and bills, waiting until we are ready to come back to them and offer them a few coppers. In reality Ramsgate is vibrant, not with big name High Street stores, but with a growing number of independent shops, and community groups and events, many supported by Ramsgate Town Council.

    When it comes to a national vote, vote on national issues. The Conservatives have had long enough to solve the problem of the growing numbers of the working population depending on food banks, but they’ve done nothing to change things. Why? What about warm banks? Will we the public have to fund them again this coming winter, because the Conservatives have messed up the economy? What are the Conservatives doing to sort out the housing crisis, other than tinkering around the edges in favour of private developers? What will the Conservatives do to support local councils in financial crisis so they don’t have to declare bankrupt? Can the Conservatives solve the problem of our kids not being able to get critical mental health support to help them stay in education when they’ve had 12 years in power already? Why are so many of our kids with neurodivergent needs not able to get school places? Could it be because the Conservatives have secretly privatised much of our special needs education? Why do newly qualified GPs want to leave the job almost as soon as they start? And what can be done to change that? What will the Conservatives do to stop private bus companies shutting down unprofitable bus routes causing isolation for many elderly who also cannot drive any more? The Conservatives have broken our economy. Can Labour repair it or has it gone too far? Who knows. Those are the questions for the Parliamentary Candidates, not the Margate Town Deal, or Manston. Otherwise, in the national vote, vote for what you’ve already got to get more of the same.

  15. Dear Pink Checksfield,
    Thankyou for asking, indeed I have been out walking today.I can drive and own a car, but I leave any driving to my wife,who likes driving our car,or she does when the lunatics are not on the road.
    I am also an afficionado of public transport and I am a staunch advocate of better bus services,and therefore the bane of KCC whose ‘enhanced partnership ‘ makes the Munich agreement seem a work of forthrightness in the face of a bully or dictator.Old Democrat bangs on about supra national bodies reducing freedom,but he would be better off tackling Stagecoach SE and Arriva instead.The Wealth of Nations talks about the invisible hand of commerce,I can tell you with those two miscreants,it is well nigh non existent.
    I think Ms Pink you might in your serpentine way,be suggesting that I am some kind of hypocrite in that I drive,but urge others to walk or cycle or catch the bus, I am afraid that your little weasel phrase has missed the mark.Unlike a Politician I never advocate something I do not carry out myself.
    As for motoring,this online newspaper reports that an 18 year old lost their live on the road in Broadstairs,only yesterday.Sadly, almost every day the IOTN reports an RTA, where someone is killed or maimed.Our addiction to motoring is deadly for some.
    As for herd immunity,the public were not convinced then or now of its efficacy,what I do know that sadly, there is no herd immunity to stupidity.If only there was, and then we might debate the issues using knowledge,instead of unsustainable beliefs.

  16. Speaks volumes of local Labour that they are parachuting someone in from London to contest a very winnable seat for them instead of using a local Councillor.

  17. Good for you. I’m a floating voter but I have an antipathy towards candidates who have been parachuted into a constituency. No matter how hard they try to immerse themselves into the area there is no way they can possess the in-depth feel for what makes a community tick that a truly local individual has. And unless they move permanently into the constituency they can forget my vote!

Comments are closed.