I have launched my campaign to be re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Bedford and Kempston. Thank you to all those that attended the launch event today. I will be spending the next few weeks talking to people on the doorstep about my priorities for Bedford and Kempston.
At the launch event, I set out some of my key pledges...
Crime & Policing:
I’ll continue to support our police by ensuring that they get the resources that they desperately need to keep us safe. Police cuts are devastating our community. Under the Tories, Bedfordshire has seen the highest percentage rise in violent crime anywhere in the country. Urgent action is needed, or we will continue to see an increase in knife crime, theft, drug dealing and county lines crime. Labour will recruit 10,000 more Police Officers so that Bedfordshire Police can fight the rising crime in our area.
I want to see GP waiting times reduced and inpatient mental health beds returned to Bedford. At the last election I pledged to save core services of Maternity, Paediatrics and A&E at Bedford Hospital - these are now safe. I have a record of delivery on health but there is more to do. We have a GP crisis with too few doctors and long waiting times. Labour will expand the number of GP training places by 1,500 a year, and I will fight for the services my constituents deserve.
I fully support a referendum on any Brexit deal with an option to remain. In 2016 a majority of people voted to leave the EU, but over the last 3 and a half years we have learnt much more about the potential impact of Brexit. I do not believe that my constituents voted to become poorer. Labour will negotiate a new deal within three months and will put that deal to a public vote so that you can have the final say on Brexit.
I recognise that the climate emergency is the most pressing issue facing our planet and I know that we must take urgent action. Labour will intervene to deliver a green industrial revolution creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs. If re-elected I will push for Britain to be Carbon neutral by 2030, and I will carry on the fight locally too, working with the Borough Council towards Carbon neutrality, and campaigning against the Covanta incinerator.
I fully support Labour’s pledges for our older generation. Our party will provide free personal care for the elderly and ensure that free TV licences for the over 75s are retained. Labour will raise standards of care too by ending the use of zero-hour contracts. Carers will be paid a real living wage, including paid travel time, and 15-minute care visits will become a thing of the past. I’ll also continue to support the WASPI women who have been so badly let down by unfair changes to their pension under the Tories.