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Labour's Peter Chowney on the campaign trail (Photo: Roberts Photographic).

Labour’s Peter Chowney, centre, at a Love Hastings, Love Yourself event (Photo: Roberts Photographic).

Candidates corner: what they are saying

As the election campaign draws to a close, here is a round-up of comments received from candidates (some of them) on diverse matters. They are presented in strict alphabetical order of party name.

Peter Chowney/Labour Party

Labour laments what it calls the “end of community policing in Hastings and Rye.” Nationally, police budgets have been reduced by 25% since 2010 and front-line officers cut by 20,000, it says, while during the election campaign the number of police community support officers in Hastings and Rother is being reduced from 32 to five.

“Since 2010 the number of community police officers has been dramatically reduced,” says Peter Chowney. “This latest cut leaves us with only two officers in Hastings and perhaps one for Rye and the rest of the constituency, effectively bringing an end to community policing.

“This is not the fault of the police. It’s an inevitable consequence of cutting police budgets to the bone. Crime is going up locally, and in the Home Secretary’s own constituency, this highlights the shocking impact police cuts are having.”

Peter Chowney can be contacted by email (

Nick Perry/Liberal Democrats

Nick Perry also has something to say about the police. “The Liberal Democrats will invest an extra £300 million a year into policing and prioritize tackling the rise in violent crime and boosting community policing.”

perry2But  it’s Brexit he wants to concentrate on. “Your last chance to stop the bus from driving over the cliff!” he says. “A hard-Brexit isn’t the will of the British people, it’s the will of Theresa May, Nigel Farage and the right-wing extremists in the Conservative Party and UKIP, who want to build an insular, mean-spirited country where bigotry flourishes and where the desire for openness, fairness and tolerance may soon become a treasonable offence.”

He promises to “fight to uphold democracy by giving the people of Hastings and Rye a chance to decide the future of our country by holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal, which will include the option to remain in the EU. “

On schools Mr Perry says the LibDems “will reverse Tory cuts to schools budgets (which unfairly target many of the more disadvantaged schools in Hastings and Rye) by investing some of the £7 billion set aside for schools and colleges. This will be paid in part by reversing some of Theresa May’s cuts in corporation tax.”

On health the message is that the LibDems will cut “the pretence that ‘you can have what you don’t pay for’ by telling everyone upfront that we will put an extra penny on income tax (raising around £6 billion a year) specifically for the NHS and our care services.

“We will also reverse Theresa May’s insane policy of charging the NHS £1,000 (soon to be £2,000) for every non-EU doctor, nurse and paramedic it employs when there are no qualified British replacements available.“

To build the economy in Hastings and Rye in a way that balances prosperity and innovation with fairness and sustainability, Mr Perry says his party “will launch a £100 billion package of infrastructure investment to help build 300,000 homes a year, improve road and rail links and install fibre-optic broadband across the region. We will also create a new ‘start-up allowance’ to help budding entrepreneurs, support investment in renewable energy and work to double the number of businesses hiring apprentices.”

There is also a message for young people – the LibDems “will restore their rights to housing and other benefits, introduce a discounted bus pass for 18 to 21 year olds (with a 66% reduction on fares), legalise cannabis, make it easier for them to get on the housing ladder by creating a ‘rent to buy’ scheme and change the voting age to 16 for all elections and referenda.”

Nick Perry can be contacted on 07714330642, on Twitter at @nickperrylibdem or through his website.

Michael Phillips/UK Independence Party

Michael Phillips provides answers to a number of queries that he has received. Of fox-hunting, he says, “Chasing, mob-handed, a terrified beast which is fully aware that its life is at stake, does not seem civilised to me. I would vote to keep the ban on fox-hunting.”

brian resizedAnd on homelessness: “This is a real scourge of our times and is driven by our population rising faster than our housing stock can keep up with. Uncontrolled immigration is a major factor here in exacerbating this problem.”

Of abortion he says, “Always a tricky one, but, as a mere male, it does seem to me that the present 24-week limit is too high. I would have thought 20 weeks (half way through pregnancy) or even a bit lower should be a decent compromise.”

Another issue raised with Mr Phillips concerns halal and kosher meat: “Our professional politicians have imposed multi-culturalism upon us, so I guess we have to put up with its ritual slaughter of our food animals for religious reasons (for the time being anyway). But in the meantime the rest of us should at least be informed, by labelling on the meat, as to how the beast was killed.”

And on animal welfare he says, “Nobody wants animals to suffer unnecessarily, and once we are out of the EU we will be allowed to ban the horrific live export of our farm animals. Farmers might take a hit in the short term but my view is if the Continentals want our meat, then they can have it in the form of animals slaughtered here in Britain.”

Posted 18:08 Monday, Jun 5, 2017 In: Election 2017


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Nick Terdre

    Perhaps the introductory paragraph is not clear enough (apart from the typo which I will clear up); this article is a round-up of unused comments sent to us by candidates. In the case of some candidates we had no unused comments, so there was nothing to include.

    In response to Colin Keyse, Nicholas Wilson has enjoyed good coverage from HOT. When his candidacy was announced, we had a long piece explaining where he was coming from. We carried an electoral statement from him, as we did from all the candidates who responded to our invitation to submit one, and we gave prominence to the episode at the Rye hustings when he was prevented from speaking (294 unique views so far).

    The candidate himself has expressed appreciation of our coverage (just doing our job, Nick). Nick Terdre

    Comment by Nick Terdre — Thursday, Jun 8, 2017 @ 09:54

  2. Colin Keyse

    Three million people watched Nick Wilson being censored by Amber Rudd on Youtube and most of those have watched his eloquent and witty contributions at the second hustings. You don’t even list his name?

    Comment by Colin Keyse — Wednesday, Jun 7, 2017 @ 21:20

  3. Nicholas Wilson

    I’m a candidate too

    Comment by Nicholas Wilson — Wednesday, Jun 7, 2017 @ 20:37

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