Cambridgeshire

Candidates for Cambridge seat talk to BBC

King's College, Cambridge Image copyright Barbara Carr/Geograph
Image caption The constituency includes one of the most successful universities

The Cambridge constituency is a top target for the Liberal Democrats.

At the last election the seat was taken by Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner with 18,646 votes.

But he had a slender majority of 599 votes and the previous MP Lib Dem Julian Huppert is looking to win back the seat.

The Lib Dems need a swing of just under 0.6%.

At the last election the Conservatives came third with 8,117 votes, with the Green forth with 4,109 votes and UKIP (not standing in this seat this year) fifth on 2,668 votes.

Image copyright Hugh Venables/Geograph
Image caption It is the biggest remain constituency in the country with only 26.3% voting to leave the EU

It is the biggest remain constituency in the country with only 26.3% voting to leave the EU, so Brexit will be a big issue for the electorate.

The constituency includes one of the most successful universities in the world and student concerns about debt as well as investment in research are likely to be key issues.

The candidates (listed in alphabetical order according to their surname):


Rebooting Democracy candidate Keith Garrett

Image copyright Keith Garrett

Why should you be an MP?

My party would change how we do democracy in the UK to make it able to deal with long term problems. It would allow the citizens to rule themselves.

What issue would get your vote?

A move towards a citizen led government rather than one ruled by an elite. But no-one who currently has 'power' will make a move towards this.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

Sortition, which is a system of democracy based around using randomly selected panels of citizens to make decisions. These wouldn't be worried about lobbyists or getting re-elected. They would just make evidence-based decisions.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I'm attempting to become a carpenter.

If you could have anyone in the world as PM (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Anyone who is prepared to trust the citizens to guide themselves.


Conservative candidate John Hayward

Image copyright John Hayward

Why should you be an MP?

Unlike a typical career politician, I am offering Cambridge a wide range of real-world experience - spanning science, education and international affairs. I have local ties that go back almost 30 years, personal experience of what many would consider to be significant physical disability, and a proven record of public service.

What issue would get your vote?

The economy. We need to continue rebalancing the economy fairly so government can invest properly in education, healthcare, housing and transport (including a Cambridge Metro) without unduly burdening the next generation. Many of these challenges facing our communities will not be resolved quickly and require long-term thinking from politicians.

If elected, what would you definitely deliver?

I will be a strong voice for Cambridge throughout the Brexit negotiations and beyond. I will help to secure a "Smart Brexit"—a good and fair deal that allows the city's universities, hospitals and hi-tech industry to continue attracting and working with the best skills in Europe and beyond.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

For much of my career, I have lived in and regularly travelled to countries experiencing and affected by civil war—such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan—where people often ask me if I lost my limbs "when fighting with the Mujahidin against the Russians" or in the Iran-Iraq war.

If you could have anyone in the world as PM (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

The "Poor Man's Earl" and social reformer, Lord Ashley, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, who helped to improve care for people with mental illness, improved working conditions in Britain's factories, and promoted education for disadvantaged children. He would support Theresa May's "One Nation" vision of "a country that works for everyone".


Liberal Democrat candidate Julian Huppert

Image copyright Julian Huppert

Why should you be an MP?

I grew up here in Cambridge, studied here, and have lived and worked across the city. I know the city well, town and gown. As the MP I got more money for our NHS and schools, for sustainable transport and for affordable housing. I want to keep making Cambridge better.

What issue would get your vote?

Mental health has been neglected for far too many decades. I've been campaigning for it to be improved for many years, but there is still a lot more to do. We need to end the stigma, improve public mental health, promote research and provide better support.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

I played a key role in getting the new Cambridge North station delivered, and would focus next on the Addenbrooke's station and the East-West rail link, which is also crucial for providing more affordable housing.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

Each year I act as MC and DJ for the hugely successful Lib Dem Disco, featuring a wide range of special guest stars. The Independent review said 'The #libdemdisco was better than your Saturday night'. We're now sponsored by UK Music, the national industry body.

If you could have anyone in the world as PM (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

Jed Bartlett from the West Wing - plus his team of advisors!


Green Party candidate Stuart Tuckwood

Image copyright Stuart Tuckwood

Why should you be an MP?

Because my work life proves I care deeply about people and I have the skill and intelligence to deliver. Politics isn't a game and I would make serious, brave decisions to save the NHS, prevent climate change and build a hopefully future for young people.

What issue would get your vote?

All other issues depend on us preserving our planet, so climate change should be top of the agenda for parties. Personally I highly value representatives who would ensure those in this country who need care are looked after properly, whether they are elderly or disabled.

If elected, what would you definitely deliver?

I would work through whatever channels necessary to take the urgent action needed to address climate change. I would press on policies that immediately benefit people and the planet, such as a serious nationwide programme to improve home insulation and end fuel poverty.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I'm an amateur footballer and my team this year won our division in the Cambridge Sunday league. I'd love to say that I play upfront and score loads of goals but unfortunately they don't normally allow me out of the defence.

If you could have anyone in the world as PM (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

Dumbledore. Wise, compassionate and forward thinking. I'd settle for Caroline Lucas though, a fierce, passionate and caring representative in parliament.


Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner


Why should you be an MP?

I'm principled, experienced, and independently-minded. I've shown I will always stand up for Cambridge and will never prop up a Conservative government.

What issue would get your vote?

Funding our schools, NHS and care services properly by asking wealthy people and business to pay a little more, although still less than almost all our international competitors, seems plain common sense to me.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

If Labour wins, the Labour manifesto. If Labour doesn't win, I will work cross-party to secure a new station at Addenbrooke's and transport improvements across our city.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I don't watch Question Time. Hate it - far too confrontational!

If you could have anyone in the world as PM (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

I still mourn the loss of my friend Robin Cook - had he lived, I suspect things would have turned out differently for Labour, for Britain, and for Europe.

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