Ahead of the general election on Thursday 12th December, six candidates for Walthamstow make their pitch for your vote
Walthamstow is a safe Labour seat and has only once elected a Conservative, in 1987. At the last election in 2017, Labour won a whopping 80% of votes – the tenth highest vote share in the country.
At the 2016 referendum Walthamstow voted 66.5% to remain in the EU.
Shade Adoh, Conservative Party
I have close family friends in Walthamstow, I have spent the last few months getting to know the area and understand there are some issues you are concerned about.
- Mini Holland: I will work with residents to find solutions to the unintended consequences caused by the scheme.
- Crime: Everyone should feel safe when out in the streets. I will work with local groups and young people to seek local solutions and fight for our fair share of the promised extra police officers.
- Schools: Every child in Walthamstow deserves a good education. Investing more in schools is a promise I will ensure works for our children. I will work with schools and the council to support a youth council.
- NHS: I am a registered nurse with a strong belief in advocating for patients and I am committed to ensuring our NHS continues to meet the needs of everyone.
- Adult social care: Working in the community has shown me how crucial it is to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities and the difficulties of accessing the service sometimes. I will strongly advocate for an open and fair system.
I am able to represent a diverse community by getting different communities to work together and appreciate their positive contributions. I am not a career politician; I am a nurse with a ‘real world’ perspective developed through relationships with patients, parents and service providers in the health and social care sector.
Paul Campbell, Brexit Party
I am not a politician. Just like you I’m an ordinary person, who is standing at the election because of more than three years of betrayal and incompetence from our MPs of all parties.
For decades now our politicians have routinely made promises to us with no intention of keeping them. Ask yourself; if someone lies to you repeatedly, would you trust their words next time around? Why do we keep believing our politicians every time they jingle 30 pieces of silver in front of us at election time?
The parties promised to respect and deliver the result of the referendum; they have not. The same parties almost all promised in 2017 to deliver Brexit; they have not!
The Lib Dems seek to totally ignore the referendum result and overturn Brexit. This is definitely neither liberal nor democratic. It follows a notorious betrayal where a high-profile manifesto promise – scrapping tuition fees – was not just ignored but overturned by raising fees instead.
Labour doesn’t have a clear Brexit policy. They are great at promising to spend money on all kinds of pet projects, in an effort to buy your vote. As a former soldier, I can recall the IRA murdering 644 civilians – Corbyn has sympathised with terrorist organisations.
The Conservatives tried to deliver Brexit but failed, thanks to the incompetence of May’s leadership and radical ‘remain’ elements in her party, with only their own interests at heart.
Change politics for good – vote for the Brexit Party.
Meera Chadha, Liberal Democrats
I would be immensely proud to represent Walthamstow. I want to help everyone to lead a happy, secure and fulfilling life. For too many, things aren’t working; inequality is rising, pollution is cutting short lives, homes are unaffordable, rents are insecure and knife crime has increased 80% since 2014. Leaving the EU doesn’t address any of this – it just ties us up in decades of trade negotiation and legislation.
By revoking Article 50, we can focus on building a brighter future for everyone in Britain. The resulting £50billion ‘remain bonus’ [Fact check: This forecast is based on expected GDP growth and has a high degree of uncertainty] would be invested in our NHS, schools and infrastructure.
I would ensure new and low-income homes in Walthamstow are zero-carbon and end sales of the most polluting vehicles. I want to keep young people safe; I’ve worked with knife crime charities and would tackle root causes.
I work with schools in disadvantaged parts of the city; they are chronically under-funded and struggling to recruit teachers. We need to invest in the school system, not spend millions on restructuring it.
Neither Labour nor the Conservatives are being honest about how long Brexit will take to conclude, or its negative impact. Many will tell you these parties are the only two choices – but the Liberal Democrats won over 700 council seats in May and overtook both at the EU election. Lend me your support and I’ll ensure your voice is heard.
Stella Creasy, Labour and Co-operative Party
There are six candidates standing to be your MP but only one who, like you, lives here – me.
Walthamstow has been my home for over 20 years. I dedicate everything to this community. It’s my passion and will always be my priority. I worked hard to support residents and businesses affected by The Mall fire; I brought the Met Police commissioner here to see how badly we need extra police; I’m working with community groups to set up mentoring schemes for young people and to end plastic use in Walthamstow; plus I’m campaigning for the green revolution we need to hit Labour’s 2030 zero-carbon target [Fact check: This target was not included in the Labour manifesto].
I am fearless in fighting for Walthamstow. My track record on protecting our NHS and lobbying for investment in healthcare and schools – which face an average funding cut of £467 per pupil next year – is clear. And I’ll stand up to those who want to make Brexit happen at any cost; I voted against triggering Article 50, I campaigned for a ‘People’s Vote’, and I believe we’re better off in the EU. At a time when Johnson’s hard Brexit threatens jobs and our relationship with our partners in Europe, it’s never been more important to have someone you can trust to fight for ‘remain’.
Britain is crying out for the positive change only a Labour government can bring. Walthamstow needs someone who understands and cares about what this community needs. Vote for me so we can champion the causes we care about.
Andrew Johns, Green Party
Environmental concerns are at an all-time high, but voting is just as important as protesting. Politicians show no consistency on the environment; declaring climate emergencies while backing airport expansion, fracking, tree-culling, and new incinerators.
Voting Green is a call to action, demanding politicians put the environment at the heart of policy-making. That means immediate action. Greens propose £100billion a year to tackle the climate emergency, a figure that pales in comparison to the cost of not acting decisively. A ‘Green New Deal’, tax reforms and eco-subsidies will create new jobs, increase tax returns and lower energy bills.
I back a ‘People’s Vote’ and would campaign to remain in the EU, but we also need to fix the democratic and socio-economic problems that led to Brexit in the first place.
- Homes: Build 100,000 energy-efficient homes every year for social renting.
- NHS: Reverse cuts to services and cut private sector involvement. Expand provision to dentistry, prescriptions and increased mental health services.
- Education: Abolish Ofsted and restore local authority control.
- Welfare: Introduce a universal basic income.
- Jobs: Tackle zero-hour contracts, unpaid internships, and introduce 10:1 pay ratios in organisations.
- Transport: Invest £15bn a year and give local authorities more power over bus and rail services.
- Crime: Legalise drugs and treat serious youth violence as a public health crisis.
- Democracy: Introduce proportional representation.
Greens have a clear vision; environmentally, economically and socially. Vote for a party that says ‘yes’ to Europe and ‘no’ to climate chaos.
Deborah Longe, Christian People’s Alliance
Growing up in a deprived area of East London allowed me to understand the problems we face. I have a passion for law and politics and in 2016 wrote a report for Big Voice London on law reform, concerning hate crime. I am now training to be a lawyer and was shortlisted for the ‘Future Legal Mind’ competition.
I am part of the music team at my church and participate in ballet and contemporary dance, having a strong interest in acting. I have been chosen to be the voice for the voiceless, the unborn.
My party has five key pledges:
- Uphold democracy and leave the EU as soon as possible: Allow a second referendum five to ten years after we’ve left, when there is evidence of what’s happened, to bring the country back together again.
- Support marriage and families: Grant £12,000 to people who get married for the first time and £6,000 when they have their first child, backed up with training and support.
- Protect the unborn: Reduce abortion and aim to get rid of it entirely.
- Make tax fair: Introduce a turnover tax of 5% targeted at overseas companies who send all their profits abroad. We would use some of the estimated £32billion proceeds to restore the £12bn cuts to benefits and guarantee a night shelter for everyone sleeping rough.
- Fight crime: Support people leaving prison. Re-offending rates average 30% but we can get them below 10%. We will also create more youth activities.