Leyton candidates make their pitch to voters

In the second part of the Echo‘s coverage of General Election 2017, the four candidates for Leyton and Wanstead make their pitch to voters

John Cryer MP

John Cryer, the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead. (Credit Clive Power)

Dear Leyton voters

Representing the people of Leyton and Wanstead for seven years has been a huge privilege. In that time I have held more than 350 advice surgeries in different parts of the constituency, taken up thousands of cases, and spoken up many times in parliament for my constituents.

In the time I have represented Leyton and Wanstead:

  • I worked with local residents to save Leyton Green Clinic;
  • Defended services at Whipps Cross Hospital and campaigned against the closure of Wanstead Hospital (securing the continuation of blood testing there);
  • Campaigned against the cut of two fire engines from the area and am still fighting for their return;
  • Campaigned and continue to campaign against the narrowed flight paths over Leyton and Wanstead;
  • Led the campaign for more resources for Wanstead Parklands;
  • Campaigned against the erosion of workers rights;
  • Worked with local residents, campaigners and unions to save Leytonstone Jobcentre Plus. As a result this is the only Jobcentre Plus in London that the government is actually consulting on.

I want to see properly funded public services. I spend much of my time dealing with desperate people who are dependent on public services just at the time they are being cut under the Tory government.

John Cryer
Labour Party

Laura Farris

Laura Farris, the Conservative Party’s parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead

Dear Leyton voters

Every vote for me will be for a government seeking the best possible deal from Brexit and making sure the UK economy grows. A Corbyn government, fractured by internal dissent within the Labour Party and supported by a coalition of chaos, would cause terrible damage to the reputation of the United Kingdom.

I am a barrister specialising in employment and discrimination law. My cases can concern anything from disability discrimination to equal pay. I represent people from all walks of life and am regularly instructed by organisations working to reduce inequality. Already working on the need to improve opportunities for people from all walks of life would give me a head start in representing an area as mixed and diverse as Leyton and Wanstead.

Meeting residents, I hear the same concerns brought up again and again; schools, housing, childcare costs and more generally, concerns about the future. As the mother of two young girls these concerns are my concerns. I want parents to be able to get their children into excellent schools close to their homes. I want to address the housing shortage – working closely with councillors to ensure that development on brownfield sites is maximised without encroaching on our precious green spaces.

The exciting proposals to encourage a new wave of social and affordable housing will go towards reducing the pressures we face. Local business must thrive. It is from the success of business that the national economy will grow and the country and this constituency will succeed.

Laura Farris
Conservative Party

Ashley Gunstock

Ashley Gunstock, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead

Dear Leyton voters

This year marks the fourth successive general election that I will be standing for the Green Party in Leyton and Wanstead, where I have lived since 1998, working as an actor, teacher, and qualified Football Association coach. In the 2015 General Election I was delighted to achieve a fourfold increase in the Green vote, third ahead of both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.

This year we are again asking people to stand up for what they believe in. If everyone actually votes for the party whose policies they most agree with, the Greens will have a real chance in this election. We are pledging to reverse the dangerous decline in NHS funding, introduce rent controls and put social housing back at the heart of housing policy.

Some of our other policies, such as scrapping student tuition fees, bringing the railways back into public ownership, introducing a living wage and ending the government’s failed austerity experiment, are so popular that they have now been adopted by other parties.
On the big issue of the day, Brexit, we will give the people a vote on the final deal negotiated with the EU, offering a clear choice: Accept the deal or remain an EU member.

Above all, and unlike all the other parties, we will face up to climate change by investing in clean renewable energy and phasing out dirty coal, oil and gas. These are the things I will fight for if elected as your MP for Leyton and Wanstead.

Ashley Gunstock
Green Party

Ben Sims

Ben Sims, the Liberal Democrat Party’s parliamentary candidate for Leyton and Wanstead

Dear Leyton voters

Your current MP has failed to listen to his constituents again and again. He campaigned for ‘Leave’. He backed the Tories on Article 50. Yet he still refuses to tell us what happens next, or how Brexit can possibly be a success.

Labour are in chaos. Re-electing a Brexit-backing, Corbyn-supporting Labour MP means more of the same. We need an MP that listens to constituents and stands up for them, not another career politician. We need real fixes for the crisis in our public services, not wish lists. We need to stand up to the Tories’ hard Brexit, not wave it through. If you elect me as your MP, I will listen to you. I will speak out on Brexit. I will continue to campaign against the vicious cuts to schools. And I will fight for sustainable funding for our NHS.

Only the Liberal Democrats will invest £78million in Waltham Forest and Redbridge schools. Only the Liberal Democrats will put 1p on income tax to give the NHS the money it needs. I have never stood for election before, but my background running a small business means I can bring the skills and ideas of the real world to parliament. I will be Leyton and Wanstead’s representative in Westminster, not Westminster’s representative in Leyton and Wanstead.

Don’t vote for more of the same. Have hope, and on 8th June vote for an MP who listens. Vote Liberal Democrat and change Britain’s future.

Ben Sims
Liberal Democrat Party

The deadline to register to vote in the 2017 General Election is Monday 22nd May at 11.59pm:

Visit gov.uk/register-to-vote