Teddington's parliamentary candidates react to July general election announcement

By Oliver Monk

24th May 2024 | Local News

Six weeks of intense campaigning await Teddington's parliamentary candidates. (Photo: Oliver Monk)
Six weeks of intense campaigning await Teddington's parliamentary candidates. (Photo: Oliver Monk)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced an early UK general election on Wednesday 22 May, to be held on 4 July.

With candidates across Teddington gearing up for their six-week stint on the campaign trail, Nub News reached out to get their reactions on the PM's decision to call a snap election.

The final full list of local candidates is expected at the end of next week.

Munira Wilson – Liberal Democrat

Munira Wilson. (Photo: Munira Wilson)

The constituency's MP since 2019, Ms Wilson has made an aggressive start to her campaign.

Within the hour of the PM's announcement, the MP took to Twitter, announcing: "It's time to kick this awful Tory Government out!"

Speaking to Nub News, Ms Wilson said: "This General Election couldn't come soon enough. The NHS has been brought to its knees, people's mortgages and rents have soared by hundreds of pounds a month, and water companies have got away with pumping filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches."

Thanking the residents who voted for her into power over four years ago, she added: "I'm looking forward to campaigning in the coming weeks to earn their trust again."

Jonathan Hulley – Conservative

Jonathan Hulley. (Photo: Oliver Monk)

Housing lawyer and Surrey councillor Mr Hulley is running against Ms Wilson in the upcoming election.

While the party has not fared well in the previous two elections since 2017, the area has historically been a Conservative stronghold – something Mr Hulley undoubtedly wants to restore in July.

He said: "We must decide whether to continue supporting Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party, who have laid out a bold plan to secure our future in an increasingly dangerous world, or to risk regressing by entrusting our country to an inexperienced Labour Party with no plan at all on the key issues, potentially propped up by the Liberal Democrats."

Speaking closer to home, he added: "In Twickenham, I am confident that my extensive experience as a senior legal professional, coupled with a proven track record of local achievements, equips me with the necessary skills, energy, and dedication to serve effectively as your MP."

Tom Bruce – Labour

Tom Bruce (Photo: Labour Party)

A teacher and London Borough of Hounslow councillor, Mr Bruce was announced as Labour's candidate in the constituency on Thursday 23 May following the PM's announcement.

Labour is fighting an uphill battle in Twickenham, with no candidate from the party ever winning the seat in a general election. Previous candidate Ranjeev Walia received 8.5% of the vote in 2019.

However, the party seems confident after unexpectedly beating the Conservatives to second place in the recent London Assembly South West elections by a narrow margin of 675 votes.

A Labour spokesperson said May's results "underscores the strong support" they have in the area, but it remains to be seen how this voter base will respond to Mr Bruce's new candidacy.

Nub News has contacted Mr Bruce for a statement.

Alex Starling – Reform

Alex Starling. (Photo: Alex Starling)

Reform's candidate Dr Starling told Nub News he's "delighted that a General Election has been called". 

As a relatively new party, Dr Starling said: "I would encourage everyone to read Reform UK's Contract, which outlines how we will make the UK a better, safer and fairer place for all".

He continued: "The country has been failed by both HM Government and HM Opposition, and it is time for reform… and for Reform. For example, all the main parties currently support energy policies that will inevitably lead to great impoverishment of UK citizens – all to no purpose."

Climate change and the current government's plans to tackle it are big ticket issues for Dr Starling, having previously written an opinion piece for GB News last year titled "The 'urgent climate crisis' is just a political fabrication".

He concluded: "The current established parties – Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green – are a vote for old politics and more of the same failures".

Chantal Kerr-Sheppard – Green Party

Chantal Kerr-Sheppard. (Photo: Green Party)

The Greens have put Radio Jackie presenter Ms Kerr-Sheppard as their candidate in Twickenham, their first since Tanya Williams in 2015.

She is also the director of Event Cycle, a company that helps organisations plan events and develop policies to make them more sustainable within a circular economy. Event Cycle was featured in the C&IT Sustainability Forum 2023.

Ms Kerr-Sheppard has previously run on behalf of the party in January's Teddington by-elections, coming third behind the Tories and Lib Dems with 184 votes.

Nub News has contacted Ms Kerr-Sheppard for a statement.

Other prospective candidates can contact us at [email protected] to have their reactions included in the article.

     

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