Ahead of the general election on Thursday 12th December, five candidates for Leyton make their pitch for your vote
Leyton and Wanstead covers the south of Waltham Forest, including Leytonstone and Whipps Cross, as well as part of Redbridge borough. The seat has been a Labour stronghold ever since creation in 1997.
At the 2016 referendum, 65.2% of Leyton and Wansted voters supported remaining in the EU. Also standing here is independent candidate Henry Scott, who did not respond to requests to contribute.
John Cryer, Labour Party
Despite Brexit dominating, general elections are about more than just one issue. The winning party will govern for five years and be responsible for health, education, rights at work, transport and more.
Naturally, Brexit touches on all these issues and it will rightly be high on residents’ agendas when they vote. Labour is the only major national party pledging a second referendum, with an option to ‘remain’. Even as a Eurosceptic, the deadlock and division since 2016 has convinced me that the only way for us to come back together as a country is to ask the public to vote again.
Johnson’s Brexit proposals pose a threat to our NHS, which the Trump administration is currently eyeing like a pig on a spit. Labour would reverse privatisations in the health service and restore confidence in our most precious institution.
Labour is committed to tackling the climate emergency with a green industrial revolution. Labour will back the police to do their job. Too many times this year I have had to ask the home secretary to set out the government’s strategy to address knife crime and it has been clear they have no answer. Cuts to police numbers make it impossible for them to do their job and deter knife crime.
As well as supporting this agenda I will continue working on issues that matter to you. I have been fighting with local campaigners on issues like London City Airport expansion, Whipps Cross Hospital, step-free access at stations and more. I successfully argued to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit locally.
This zombie Tory government is too stymied by its inability to resolve Brexit to deliver any legislation at all. I hope you will place your faith in me and Labour to move forward with an agenda for real change.
Ashley Gunstock, Green Party
In this historic election the Green Party will be promoting solutions to the important matters of the day, with an increased focus on the climate emergency.
- Education; comprehensive in the truest sense of the word, with no division of intakes on the grounds of religion, race, gender, disability or social status. Pupils will be taught an curriculum to encourage them to respect and protect all forms of life in the world.
- Healthcare; provided by fully-funded centres, health would be holistic, being based on prevention, a good diet and regular exercise, as well as cure. The need for medication would be kept to a minimum. With more personal responsibility, some weight could be taken off the overburdened NHS.
- Transport; public mobility and haulage needs to be upgraded, better integrated and affordable to encourage usage. We have to drastically reduce our dependency on fossil-fuelled vehicles.
- Waste; goods to supply our needs rather than our wants, minimal packaging using recycled materials, made to last longer and be recyclable in a circular economy.
- Economy; the ‘Green New Deal’ would see a rise in employment in the building of a renewable-friendly infrastructure to drastically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Businesses would be encouraged to invest in education.
- Taxation; centred on land ownership – its size, location and usage – as well as a ‘polluter pays’ principle and a person’s ability to pay.
Unfortunately, much of what needs to be urgently done continues to be delayed by the divisive distraction that is Brexit. Greens believe that unity is the key to best achieving what needs to done through co-operation, not confrontation. This is not an ‘us and them’ but a ‘we’ moment in time. We should not try to foolishly go it alone.
Zulf Jannaty, Brexit Party
Like many, I believe the established parties of yesterday are no longer fit to serve us today. I joined the Brexit Party to change not just our relationship with the EU, but reset the relationship between people and parliament.
This is all part of rebuilding our democratic foundations and delivering electoral reform so that parliament and government serve us all, whatever our backgrounds and lifestyles and across all generations. To do this we must see the largest democratic referendum result for Brexit delivered. It is a matter of trust and democracy!
The Brexit Party is in a unique position to drive this change because we are not part of the political status quo. Our policies include; reforming the voting system as ‘first past the post’ has failed to deliver representative government and ignores the voices of millions; investing in young people by scrapping interest on student loans; abolishing the inheritance tax ‘double taxation’; and scrapping HS2 to avoid its destructive impact on our countryside while investing in the environment and recycling. Importantly, we will be focused on long-term strategic investment in our vital public services such as the NHS and social care.
Born and raised in East London and a local resident for two decades, I want to fight for a community where we can all build successful lives while also taking care of those who need help. This means delivering the best possible local healthcare, education, social care and safe streets for our families.
I am married to a Spanish national and am a father of dual-national children, so I know there is absolutely no contradiction between having a positive international outlook and wanting the UK to be independent and free of undemocratic EU political rule.
I urge you to vote Brexit Party and finally change politics for good.
Noshaba Khiljee, Conservative Party
I was raised in Walthamstow and have many friends and family in the Leyton and Wanstead area. I understand that there are a number of issues that voters here are concerned about.
- Ending uncertainty over Brexit; more than three years after the referendum we need to move on. A Conservative government will implement the new deal negotiated with the EU, and we can then fully focus on our agenda for improving people’s lives.
- Improving the NHS; I am a practising hospital consultant and am fully committed to the principles and values of the NHS. I understand the challenges the NHS faces but am sure it can continue to deliver world-class healthcare in the 21st Century. I will be a strong advocate in a Conservative government to protect NHS patients and staff and was pleased to hear that Whipps Cross Hospital has been awarded £400million for its rebuild [Fact check: Hospital bosses have not been told how much government money they will receive].
- Making streets safer; residents have a right to feel safe on our streets. I will promise to fight for our fair share of the 20,000 extra police officers being recruited under the next Conservative government.
- Funding for schools; I attended school locally and understand how much our residents value their children’s education. Every child in our community deserves a good education and that starts with investing in schools.
- Adequate social care; I have a disabled mother and brother. I know how crucial it is to provide the social care required to look after our most vulnerable residents and how frustrating it can be to access these services. I will strongly advocate for a fairer system of social care.
Benjamin Sims, Liberal Democrats
Our politics is broken. The Conservatives have abandoned any claim to economic competence for an ever-harder Brexit. Labour spend their time squabbling rather than opposing Brexit. Both are stuck in the past, failing to deliver a better future.
Re-electing a Brexit-backing, Corbyn-supporting MP means more of the same. Thankfully, things are changing. In May, the Liberal Democrats won the EU elections in London. We can stop Brexit and use the £50billion ‘remain’ bonus to rebuild our country [Fact check: This forecast is based on expected GDP growth and has a high degree of uncertainty].
Once Brexit is stopped, my priority will be the climate emergency. We will generate 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and commit to insulating all low-income homes by 2035. I will lead the fight against the ridiculous plans to expand London City Airport; it is senseless to inflict noise and air pollution across East London for the benefit of the few that use it.
I continue to oppose school cuts; we will make sure that every child has the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers and committing an extra £10bn a year to our schools.
We will transform mental health funding, giving mental health the same priority as physical health. We will put one penny in every pound on income tax to give our NHS the cash injection it needs.
If you elect me, I will listen to you on the issues that matter and work hard to be a great constituency MP. I’m not a career politician; I run a small business and can bring skills and ideas from the real world to parliament. I will be Leyton’s representative at Westminster, not Westminster’s representative in Leyton. Don’t vote for more of the same, vote to stop Brexit and build a brighter future.