General Election 2017: Candidates fighting for North and South Thanet

Polls are open

The contenders fighting for the  Thanet seats in June’s General Election have been confirmed.

South Thanet

Craig Mackinlay, the current Conservative MP, has been endorsed by his party to fight for the constituency in June’s General Election.

Mr Mackinlay took the seat in the 2015 General Election, beating closest contender Ukip leader Nigel Farage by a narrow margin of some 2,000 votes.

His election campaign has since been hit with an investigation by Kent Police into Party expenditure.

In March Mr Mackinlay was questioned for several hours under caution by police officers investigating the election overspend allegations.

The legal expense limit for South Thanet for that time-frame was £15,016.38. The Conservatives’ local expense declaration was for £14,837.

But a bill of more than £18,000 for stays in two isle hotels and a hostel was not included on local expenses but attributed to national spending. This figure would have taken the party over the legal campaign limit.

Last month Kent Police confirmed a file of the investigation had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Rev Stuart Piper has been chosen to fight the South Thanet seat for UKIP.

The Thanet council chairman and Ramsgate Town Councillor is a former helicopter technician who lives in Ramsgate with wife and fellow councillor Lynda.

Last month former UKIP leader Nigel Farage confirmed he would not stand in the June election.

Labour has confirmed Ramsgate Tandoori owner Raushan Ara as the South Thanet candidate for the Reds.

 

Greens have put forward  Trevor Roper for South Thanet, a former secondary school Design and Technology teacher who lives in Minster. He has been Union Representative, a Parent Governor in a primary school and a Teacher Governor in a secondary school.

He is still active in local schools supporting the ‘Greenpower’ extracurricular club, which constructs battery-powered cars to compete in national competitions. The subject he taught inspired Trevor’s keen awareness of environmental issues and their implications for transport, construction and renewable energy.

Trevor has been married to Karen for 30 years and they have two grown-up children.

East Kent Coast Liberal Democrats have selected Jordan Williams to stand for the South Thanet seat.

Jordan was born and bred in Thanet.  A pupil of Chatham House Grammar School, he went on to work in retail management in the area.  He has recently taken up a position with an international airline.

He said: “I am very concerned about the effect of local government cutbacks on the people of Thanet.

“It’s time that the Conservative government realised the devastating effects of austerity in my local area both on public services and individuals.”

He is also a passionate European and believes that the UK should remain in the EU single market.

“I believe it’s important for the young people of the UK to continue to enjoy the benefits which EU membership has brought to my generation, such as studying, living and working in Europe.”

The critical state of the NHS and the future direction and underfunding of education, are also issues about which Jordan is concerned about. “While everyone talks about our relationship with Europe, too little attention is being given to these vital areas.”

“Above all, we must not hand Prime Minister Theresa May a blank cheque to do as she likes at home and abroad, risking all our futures.”

Also standing for South Thanet is Faith Fisher of the Christian Peoples Alliance and Independent Tim Garbutt.

Prophet Zebadiah of the Al Zebabist Nation of Ooog Party does not appear on the statement of candidates.

North Thanet

Sir Roger Gale has already been confirmed as standing  for the Conservatives in North Thanet.

Greens have revealed he will be contested by Ed Targett. The 34-year-old lives in Margate and grew up in Herne Bay. Previously a journalist, he now works as a content writer and runs his own business.

A dad-of-three, he is hugely concerned about climate change and biodiversity loss. He believes that a “Green New Deal” of investment in innovative clean energy, transport and housing infrastructure could generate millions of jobs, whilst helping the environment.

Ed has been a Green Party member for 15 years and was the parliamentary candidate for North Thanet in 2015.

Also standing in North Thanet are UKIP’s Clive Egan,Martyn Pennington for the Lib Dems, Frances Rehal for Labour and Iris White for the Christian Peoples Alliance.

The election

The snap election was announced by PM Theresa May and backed by  the House of Commons  last month.

Polling day will be on June 8. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. Find the South Thanet list of polling stations here and North Thanet here

Current predictions from Electoral Calculus have the Conservatives taking the election with a majority of 162 seats.

The poll predicts UKIP will lose its only Parliamentary seat and says the Leave voters will not save the Lib Dems.

The Kent County Council elections will take place on Thursday. The count will be held on Friday (May 5) at the Winter Gardens.