Candidates comment on plans to name a 'people's champion' in East Wight

Saturday, March 2, 2024

A plan to create a 'people's champion' for Isle of Wight East, at the next general election, has been welcomed by some candidates and slammed by others.

Organisers are calling it a 'progressive alliance' that is trying to defeat the Conservative candidate in the newly-created region but the Conservative candidate for the area says the process is undemocratic.

At the next vote, the Isle of Wight will have two constituencies - Isle of Wight East and Isle of Wight West.

In the east, which includes Sandown, Shanklin and Ryde, meetings are being held with a view of decide which non-Conservative candidate has the best chance of carrying the most votes.

We asked the candidates themselves for their thoughts, some of who have been invited to attend, to answer questions from the public.

Michael Lilley, Liberal Democrat, said: “Rather than seeing the election about getting the Tories out, shouldn’t we be looking at getting a good local MP for East Wight who will tackle issues such as ferry regulation, coastal erosion, flooding, sewage into the sea, poverty, carers, realities of climate change, unfair planning decisions, lack of NHS dentists and lack of well-paid stable jobs?

"Fifty years ago, a good local people’s champion, the late Steve Ross, came from third place to beat the long-standing Conservative MP for the then Liberal Party.

"He fought his campaign on the issues facing Islanders. He had a strong track record.

"I welcome the opportunity to speak to local residents about the issues that matter to them throughout the constituency, as we need an MP who champions their views.

"The East Wight Primary provides an opportunity.”

Green Party National Spokesperson for Education, Vix Lowthion, Green Party candidate, said she plans to attend.

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