General Election 2024: Isle resident Paul Holton announces bid for East Thanet seat as Independent candidate

Independent Candidate: Paul Holton Photo by: Alan Green 

Thanet resident Paul Holton has thrown his hat in the ring to be an Independent candidate to take the East Thanet seat at the General Election on July 4.

He was born in Margate and has lived on the isle for his whole life. The 47-year-old can often be spotted at work in the Shell Garage at Birchington, where he has been employed for 19 years, or whilst at events with his cameras, or while he was a Membership Secretary at the Ramsgate Royal British Legion.

He has been an Army Cadet and a Civilian Instructor and Adjutant with the Air Training Corps.

Paul says: I have lived a full life so far, and for the majority of it served others. But through taking photos or being a music manager/consultant or teaching and training cadets, I have also toured the UK and undertake social media/website help and consultancy.

“Standing as an Independent wasn’t an easy decision, but I stood last year in the council local elections and got far more votes than I thought, so hopefully more will vote in the General Election.

“As an Independent I don’t have any Party whip or hierarchy telling me if I can stand or not, where I can stand, or on what Motions to vote for. For me, I was born here, my children were born here, I live and currently work here. I have not been drafted (parachuted) in. Thanet is such an amazing place and I hope the public will know how much I want to serve them and do all I can to work tirelessly for them to promote the area, help bring in support and more importantly encourage something better for us all”.

“For nearly four years now, I have researched, learnt and studied many aspects of both Local and National Government and to make a change we need firm but fair, we need honesty and transparency, but more than that we need someone will get stuck in and stand up for their community, with Thanet seeming to have more roadworks and potholes than ever and our seas and rivers being swamped with sewage, and mass overpriced unaffordable developments for many, as a country we are at breaking point and frustrations are becoming more apparent.”

Although not in his constituency, due to his passion for flying and former associations with the local Air Cadets and Manston, Paul says he fully supports the re-opening of Manston.

Paul said: “Manston has two helicopter companies working there each and every day along with Search and Rescue, Police and Air Ambulance often passing, but also many military helicopters of late, and through the work of both Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum and the RAF Manston History Museum and the helicopter companies there are many weekend events throughout the summer whereby many light aircraft fly in.

“As a kid, I fondly remember Manston having huge airshows, with the Red Arrows and of course Concorde. I fully understand there have been those both for and against. But now the decision has been made, I truly hope people will now support the airfield. If elected, no matter which MP is elected in Herne Bay and Sandwich, I will endeavour to support Manston.”

Paul says unless someone stands up and tries, nothing will change.

Paul said: “For far too long now political parties, and I mean all of them, have done things their way. With Conservatives and Labour wanting to tax us, and although Reform seems on the up they want to replace the Conservatives with another form of conservative party. As for the Green Party and Lib Dems, can we trust them either? Voters cannot work out who to trust enough to vote. But as an Independent, I will do the right thing, and hold to account any party, but also be accountable myself. I will work with motions that are sensible and are right for East Thanet.”

Paul has three sons, one is in the British Army, one is in college, and the other has just left university. He wants all his children to grow up in a better world.

When asked about policies,  Paul said: “I am standing as a potential Member of Parliament (MP) for two main reasons: one is for the people in my constituency, and the second is for me. The frustrations with our government are at boiling point. I am fed up with the blame game culture, with the government spending billions and wasting billions of our money—our taxes—then expecting us to pay more. So much needs to be done; it’s unreal!

“The Isle-of-Thanet has so much to offer both residents, businesses, tourists, and visitors,  with some amazing beaches, water sports, cinemas, theatres, and bingo. More than that, we have history from artists like Turner, and novelist Charles Dickens, but also places of interest like Margate Caves, Tudor House, Turner Gallery, Shell Grotto, Kingsgate Castle, Lighthouses, Bleak House and home of Dickens, Ramsgate Tunnels, Theatres and Ports, to golf courses. To top it all, we have some of the best events going from Folk Week, gigs/concerts and festivals and also we have the oldest rollercoaster at  Dreamland… plus so much more. But East Thanet is about its people, and I am so proud to have been born and raised right here!”

He added: “Our farmland and agricultural land must be protected at all costs, and our farmers must be helped, my direct message to developers would be lay of the farmland and build on brownfield sites, and do us a favour re-purpose old, outdated buildings and re-develop better, but communicate and liaise with utilities more, not point building homes, if there is no drainage, and our sewage gets overwhelmed. As for sewage and Southern Water, Thanet relies on tourism, I’d like to ask water company bosses would you swim in our seas that you’re polluting?”

Paul says he wants to personally and publicly wish former MP for the old constituency of Thanet South Craig Mackinlay all the very best, with his continued and ongoing recovery. Paul said: “I knew some months ago of Craig’s situation, but only he can fully tell his so personal story, but to watch his Interview followed by his Parliament welcome, was so emotional, heartfelt but inspiring, both him, his wife and daughter’s resilience and courage is a lesson to us all.

“Since his remarkable story came to light, I have known of two others in Thanet with sepsis, and more needs to be done in educating as many as possible, I believe he will become a hugely inspirational ambassador moving forward.”

Find out more about Paul at Facebook

The General Election takes place on July 4. Other East Thanet candidates are Polly Billington (Labour) Helen Harrison (Cons) Steve Roberts (Green) Jai Singh (Lib Dem) Paul Webb (Reform UK) Grahame Birchall (Indie).