South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay: NHS treatment, Manston, Port and live exports

Craig Mackinlay

It’s been some time since I’ve penned my regular update for you.

Many readers will know that, at the end of September, I was rushed into hospital after feeling very unwell at home the preceding day. I was diagnosed with Sepsis and placed into an induced coma with multiple organ failures shortly after.

Treatment by the NHS has been exemplary and I’m extremely lucky to be alive. I can’t thank my doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals enough for the care I’ve received. The road to recovery is underway which has included some extreme surgery. I’m sure I’ll have lots more to say about the experience over the months ahead. For now, I’d like to send my heartfelt thanks to the many constituents who have sent their good wishes. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and strangers. Thank you all.

The antics of some of the opponents of re-opening Manston Airport have continued. Hopefully not for too much longer. A single justice of appeal will decide whether the application for permission to appeal be granted after previous legal machinations at hearings in September and October were unsuccessful.

The people of Thanet have voted overwhelmingly in three General Elections for candidates that support the re-opening Manston Airport. Investment in that airport will be the single biggest East Kent has received since the Channel Tunnel. Once re-opened, the airport has the capacity to create hundreds and then thousands of jobs in airport-related businesses in an area which perpetually lags behind the rest of the South East.

The ongoing issues concerning the Port and Harbour at Ramsgate continue, frustratingly, to raise more questions than answers. But the establishment of the new Partnership Board to oversee the implementation of the various government supported Levelling Up projects hopefully means progress can be demonstrated in the coming months. Reports are that progress is also being made on the possibility of hosting the Tall Ships Regatta and Festival, led by the Ramsgate Regeneration Alliance with the support of the Ramsgate Society.

Great news that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill is progressing through Parliament. Stopping once-and-for-all the foul and unnecessary export of live animals, a totemic issue for me that I’ve raised repeatedly in Parliament. This Bill delivers on another key manifesto commitment – only possible now we’re out of the EU.

Whether Christmas for you is a deeply religious time, a time to be spent with family, or one of indulgent festive fun, I wish you all the compliments of the season and a very happy 2024.


  1. So Craig admits that he and his fellow
    plane spotter Roger were single issue candidates in the last elections. Well that kind of makes sense as there were clearly no other reasons to have voted for either of them.

  2. One wonders where Mackinlay and the other supporters of a new airport at Manston get all their bizarre misinformation from.

  3. I am glad Mr McKinley is making a recovery after his very serious illness. I am a lifelong Labour voter and proud to be so. I’m also proud to say I fully support the reopening of Manston Airport. I think it is about time the laws were changed to stop the likes of Jenny Dawes from causing long delays in the reopening of the airport and wasting court time for her own very selfish needs. It’s an absolute disgrace that such a valuable asset as an airport could be delayed time after time again for purely selfish political reasons. The airport has been there long before Dawes. We have not heard a peep from Dawes about the disappearance of our valuable local food producing farmland under millions of tons of concrete not a peep. The forthcoming documentary that WILL be shown once the airport reopens will cause a few red faces and embarrassment to Dawes supporters you can be sure of that.

    • Exactly, Bill. As with Brexit, Manston Airport isn’t something that can be neatly divided between party lines – much as some on here seem to think otherwise.

      • There does seem to be bed some obvious similarities between Brexit and RSPs plan for Manston. Both promise loads of well paid jobs for ‘local’ people based on no reliable evidence. Both hark back to a rose tinted past but are more likely to cause general harm to existing businesses. And in both the only people who will benefit are a small group of mysterious business men.

          • Unfortunatly, the number of jobs created in the unlikely event of the airport opening would be counted by a loss of jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector in Ramsgste.

          • Strange. I could’ve swore there were plenty of cafes, bars & restaurants in Ramsgate when the airport was running before.

          • Poor argument. It’s a bit like saying because several clothes shops have closed down in Westwood Cross, people want to walk around naked. Of course, it might be because they were the wrong clothes at the wrong prices, and the airport might’ve been going to the wrong destinations at the wrong prices. If they concentrated on internal UK flights (Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Newcastle), I do think they’d be on to a winner.

    • The Goverment is hell-bent on taking away or restricting laws that allow citizens to challenge the government.
      The fact that the first JR about Manston was passed, a second was given permission to proceed, and a challenge to the judge’s findings all show that there are questions to be asked and answers to be given about this very unusual DCO process, and the bizarre way it was determined by the SoS.
      I’m pleased that you were able to benefit from the NHS’s services. Will you ask the PM to explain why waiting lists are longer than ever (one of his pledges was to reduce them) and NHS dentists is all but non-existant?

    • Why do airport supporters not understand that hundreds of people support the attempts to stop the proposal succeeding? Hundreds of people donated to the judicial reviews- Ms Dawes is their spokeswoman. She is not doing it “for her own very selfish needs”.

    • Right Bill Jenny Dawes is not alone, hundreds of us supported, and donated thousands of pounds to try and stop the re-opening of Manston, because Mackinlay and Gale are blatantly conning people in Thanet to think it will bring posterity to Thanet, and is a vote winner! But it will destroy Ramsgate port, devalue businesses’, and property, pollute the air, and destroy the hospitality trade. They are trying to sell mostly people in the CT11 post code area down the river, but how did they get the Planning Inspectorate decision against the Development Consent Order (DCO) overturned, despite the fact the it didn’t meet the basic requirements of a National Infrastructure Project?

      The Planning Inspectors found that 8 out of 10 issues they investigated in the DCO application failed to meet the requirements, so recommended the Secretary of State(SoS) refuse the application. The SoS appointed a highly regarded international firm of independent consultants, Ove Arup to review the evidence, who recommended the DCO application should be refused! However the SoS rejected the Ove Arup Report, and granted the DCO for a 2nd time. Why?

      This stinks! A DCO must prove there is a national “Need” for the development, but there isn’t one. Plenty of existing airports have spare cargo plane capacity (No Passenger aviation is permitted at Manston) and are better located, so as I say this stinks! Mackinlay and Gale are betting that there are sufficiently gullible people in Thanet to vote for them in the forthcoming General Election, because all the predictions are the Tory’s will go into meltdown, and they will lose their seats! The re-opening of Manston is a Red Herring, and the 2 chocolate tea pot MP’s for Thanet are traitors!

        • Heh Ms Pink, there has been a medical breakthrough that could help with your period problems, and the “Change” you appear to be going through! According to my newspaper a new “Menopause drug that reduces hot flushes has been approved” its called “Fezolinetant” and sold under the brand name “Veoza”. Ask your GP to try it out, it may just help stop your irascibility, and nastiness, give it a go for all our sakes.

  4. I’m hoping thy eventually start running passenger flights again, particularly if it’s to Cardiff (very handy for my holiday home in Penarth!).

  5. Now that you’ve had to use the NHS, Craig.. maybe you could speak up about the abject job your party has done at handling it over the last 15 years?

    Or take some accountability rather than just defaulting to blaming Labour as you normally do.

    Anticipating your pending departure from office warmly.

  6. So what will the reasons be for the airfield failing again, will there be more bullshine about how relevant it is and how it should be re opened or will they get the message that it’s not viable not sustainable not needed. We will find out in less than 6 years.

      • Ms Pink. Merry Christmas to you. You should be commended for winding up some of the regular contributors to these columns.

        • Haha, it’s a natural talent! (True story: today I read school reports for the first time since they were written 45 years ago, and they said much the same).

          • Nice to see after 45 years you’ve not grown up Peter (Ms Pink)….

            When I see your name I often picture you getting an alarm when a new story is published so you can franticly run to your computer and furiously start your babbling and often inherently flawed diatribes against wokism, against Margate, well pretty much against everything that doesn’t fit your extremely narrow world view. There must be something better to do with retirement than constantly comment here? I’ve also noticed when you are challenged in a measured and reasonable way you tend to just ignore, almost has me thinking there’s not much substance behind those ‘acerbic’ retorts.

  7. Craig you are a waste of space and a joke with no understanding of the issues many in Thanet face, you are a disgrace. Have an awful Christmas and may you lose you seat in the next general election to never step foot in parliament again.

    • What a nasty piece of work you are! At least have the guts to publish your real name instead of hiding. Coward!

      • Haha, yeah real nasty!

        In my view and many others he is a joke and a waste of space, he has done nothing positive for the majority of people in his constituency in his entire time in parliament, he does not care one but for them. Look at his voting history on policies, it’s awful to put it politely. He is a self serving moron with no understanding of the struggles his party has put on people in the last decade, at the same time lining their pockets with tax payers money.

        So yes I wish him an awful Christmas and hope he loses his seat to never step foot in parliament again.

        Guts are not needed to post your full name on the internet, initials are just fine. I would be more than happy to tell Craig what I think of him face to face and that I even know what went on at his dodgy parties he used to have on his boat at Chatham!

        • RL or whatever your real name is. You show yourself up even more! ‘dodgy parties on a boat in Chatham’ Do please enlighten everyone? Come on you obviously like shouting your mouth off.

  8. Merry Christmas Craig,glad to see you are getting better.
    I think it’s me winding up Lily rather than the other way round.I see her natural talent is based on not reading anything but the IOT,which explains a lot.
    I think Lily will only fly from Manston, if she learns to fly a glider,like the goat in the Virgin /O2 ad.The resemblance is striking. The goat looks just like an author and music historian.
    As for house building the Tory Govt and the Labour opposition are both in
    favour of boosting housing, so Bill is in for a disappointment either way.Micheal Gove has just lectured councils for not planning more housing, so we will see more housing like Spitfire Green,that will be something to look forward to in 2024.

  9. One of the as-yet-undisclosed-yet-openly-discussed Labour party policies refers to aviation and fuel taxation.

    Following the GE, which is going to be announced imminently, now that inflation rate is half and Sunak thinks that’d be enough for an honourable defeat rather than a thrashing, Manston as a business proposition would be no more (even if it never was…).

    So, farewell Manston, for the n-th time.

  10. Craig I’m really pleased you’re on the road to recovery, there’s some really nasty human beings on here that obviously aren’t in the spirit of Christmas .

  11. It would be nice if Christmas spirit was a year round experience, then there would be no homelessness and no need for food banks.The NHS would also be an effective universal service, but alas life is not like that is it?

  12. I am astounded at the vitriol expressed by some people in this thread. How and why did you become so hateful? No matter what your politics or beliefs or whether you consider someone has done a good or bad job, nobody should want to see anyone suffer an illness such as Craig has. Shame on you and I hope that you and your nearest and dearest don’t find yourselves in a similar situation. To express such spiteful thoughts at what is supposed to be the season of goodwill is despicable.

    Best wishes to Craig in his recovery.

    • Sadly, the “caring” far-left constantly astound me on how vile they can be to anyone who dares to disagree with them.

      • ‘Far left’!!!! Haha
        Mackinlay was the UKIP leader so that makes someone like Ken Clarke far left! Are you not aware of the corruption and the swindling going on under this shambolic excuse for a government! Michelle Mone is just the tip of the iceberg

    • Do remember that Mr Mackinlay was a member of the Covid Recovery Group which (amongst other things) opposed lockdowns.
      Lockdowns saved countless lives. Late imposition of the first lockdown lead to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people.
      In our enthusiasm to wish our MP well, let’s not forget the relatives of those who died because of policies he favoured.

      • Lockdowns ruined countless lives – including my own mother’s, who following an early 2020 knee operation, never did the required walking exercises, and is now wheelchair-bound.

        • Lock down saved far more lives than were lost to other causes. Even more lives would have been saved if lock down had been imposed earlier.

          • She did her best, in a tiny flat, but never regained proper muscle strength. She then tripped on her doorstep when finally trying to venture out, needed hospital treatment, and now NEVER goes out.

  13. It’s doubtful that Craig Mackinly will stand at the next General Election due to his personal unpopularity and the national unpopularity of the Tory Party. This has been compounded by boundary changes that are unfavourable to him.

    He may well have been seriously ill as he claims and this presents him with the perfect excuse to bow out before the next general election, rather than suffering a humiliating defeat.

    It is rumoured amongst those ‘in the know’ that Nigel Farage has earmarked East Thanet for his 8th attempt at winning a parliamentary seat, this time for Reform UK.

    Perhaps Craig has got wind of this and it has hastened his departure which will no doubt be announced before too long. He has not been a good advocate and representative for the residents of South Thanet, soon to be East Thanet. We can only hope that the next incumbent of this seat does a better job!

  14. After 13 years what we have is flat lined economy, more debt,higher taxes, an NHS under pressure and a general feeling that Britain is broken.
    It’s not hard to see why some might be critical of Craig,in that when asked about climate change he denied it, and then suggested that all would be well, because of some new technology on the horizon.This wishful thinking has been our downfall,on Brexit, COVID,and so much of life today.From energy companies to water and service companies,the standards are low and the excuses are pitiful.
    Craig and his colleagues in the various factions within the Tory party are destroying its chances of reelection.
    The polls do vary but Sunak is finding it difficult to turn things around in the Tories favour.
    It’s possible that circumstances might change, but past history makes that unlikely.
    The problem for Craig and the conservatives is that the public are not listening anymore,and some here find that a painful situation.

  15. Pay rise for all NHS as you were so well served by our NHS given the best care looked after yet you will not agree with more money for the staff worthy of what they should be given you have gone against keeping stroke unit hopefully you will help the people of Thanet in the future.
    I do wish you a healthy recovery and keep well

    • You are correct B. Allen, the Tory’s are known as the nasty party, and they are! I was going to wish Mackinlay a speedy recovery, but as this government is still refusing to bring NHS/doctors wages up to the same level they were 13 years ago by granting them a 25% or more increase, and trying to blame them for not taking a wage cut, I despair at them! Mackinlay says his “Treatment for Sepsis was “exemplary” so why not show how appreciation, and join junior doctors on their picket line?

  16. Mackinlay said “The people of Thanet have voted overwhelmingly in three General Elections for candidates that support the re-opening Manston Airport”
    It’s also true that, in a recent local election, the people of Thanet in general and Ramsgate in particular voted overwhelmingly for Lsbour candidates who oppose the Manston development.

  17. Having read Peter Checksfield’s earlier comment (December 19th, 5.57 pm), I suggest that it is accepted as true and that the rest of us should now stop replying to him.

    • Perhaps you’ll stop swearing, or calling someone racist for visiting and liking Wales (?!). I prefer the English speaking part though, the Welsh language is all gobbledygook to my ears.


      Ms. Pink Xx

      • To those who are not Peter Checksfield- you can plainly see from his 10.38 am comment that he is indeed simply out to infuriate and/or upset people. The 10.38 comment is simply racist, in my opinion.

    • Careful M.M. Rees, Ms Pink AKA Peter Checksfield may start self harming if he can’t access these pages to try and wined people up with his nonsense!

  18. I’m sure you all noticed the Fighter Jets flying around midday. I hope the Anti Manston Snowflakes had their Brown trousers on.

    • Brought back great memories. I’m hopeful that one day again, I can look up and see the roar of planes when I’m strolling across Thanet.

  19. 85 comments & 27 of them from one person (at the time of writing).
    I can only guess that the life of a writer is very lonely.

  20. Craig is just saying his opinion on Manston airport reopening. It’s riveroak saying about the jobs people in Thanet would get if Manston airport did reopen.

    • This is what “Craig” said:
      “Once re-opened, the airport has the capacity to create hundreds and then thousands of jobs”
      His words.

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