Norfolk

Candidates for the Norwich South constituency give their views

Norwich University of the Arts building Image copyright Michael Dibb/Geograph
Image caption The city contains a large student community at the University of East Anglia and the Norwich University of the Art

The Norwich South constituency won by Labour in 2015 will be targeted by the Conservatives - but they need a swing of nearly 8%.

Last time around Clive Lewis won the seat from the Lib Dems, which found itself in fourth place. Mr Lewis had a majority of nearly 7,654 over the Conservatives.

UKIP are not fielding a candidate and the Conservatives will be hoping to take some of its 4,539 votes won in 2015.

The Green Party came third despite the seat being number one on its 2015 target list.

Image copyright Scriniary/Geograph

The constituency was one of the few strongly remain areas in Norfolk in the EU referendum, so this may prove an important issue in the election.

It also contains a large student community at the University of East Anglia and the Norwich University of the Arts, so concerns about grants, loans and student debt could be key concerns.

The Conservatives last won the seat in 1983 in Margaret Thatcher's landslide election victory. Between 1997 and 2010 the seat was represented by Labour heavyweight and former Home Secretary Charles Clarke. He lost the seat to Lib Dem Simon Wright in 2010.

Here are the candidates in their own words, appearing in alphabetical order according to their surname:

Green Party candidate Richard Bearman

Image copyright Richard Bearman

Why should you be an MP?

To have a second Green MP.

What issue would get your vote in a general election?

Action, not talk, on climate change.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

A green voice for Norwich and Norfolk.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I had a 25-year career in the petroleum industry, before becoming a Green Party councillor .

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

Caroline Lucas leading an alliance of the left.


Conservative candidate Lana Hempsall

Image copyright Lana Hempsall

Why should you be an MP?

The hallmark of my modest political career in local government and the Broads Authority has been that I always stand up and speak out for the underdog. I would sooner face political ruin than let an injustice go unchallenged. I am outspoken and live and die by my principles.

What issue would get your vote in a general election?

I trained and worked as a physiotherapist and my hope is that the government will deliver a 25% increase in the number of medical school places by 2020, as announced at last conference. We face a global shortage of health professionals, yet there are thousands of keen applicants turned away at the university door.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

Direct elections to National Parks and the Broads Authority or drive myself mad trying. These are some of the last remaining unelected and unaccountable quangos in the country, which haven't kept pace with the democratic advances made by the Localism Act.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

When I was 15 and received the diagnosis for my sight condition, I was told I would go completely blind by the age of 30 and would be sent to a specialist institution to be taught basket weaving to support myself. I rebelled, fought my way through to completing university and still have some sight at 46.

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

Edith Cavell - I would choose her as PM, as she was dedicated to her cause, there was nothing she wouldn't do to protect and defend people in her care and I can, on a personal level, relate very strongly to those attributes and strengths.


Labour candidate Clive Lewis

Image copyright PA

Why should you be an MP?

My priority is the people, families and communities of Norwich. I will continue to be Norwich's voice in Westminster and seek in every way I can to promote our fine city and improve the life chances of its citizens. I will continue to stand up for the NHS in Norwich.

What issue would get your vote in a general election?

I think our election pledge to raise the minimum wage to £10 is fantastic. This will bring about a dramatic improvement in life for the poorest and we know that those on low incomes spend what they earn so it's also has huge benefits for the local and national economy.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

If Labour win, I will work in whatever way I can to deliver the Labour Party manifesto for the people of Norwich, including a national education service, free at the point of use, to allow us to learn and retrain without needing to find lots of fees.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

In 2015 I cycled the shorter version of the Norwich 100. Fifty miles without any training. I borrowed a mate's bike which had dodgy gears. A bit like climbing Everest in flip flops with a carrier bag of sarnies. Got there in the end though and it was a great way to see the fabulous Norfolk countryside.

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

Captain John Sheridan of Babylon 5. He was smart, principled, a diplomat, a soldier and a fighter for justice. A fallible human being that tried to do what was right. He'd have made a great prime minister.


Liberal Democrat candidate James Wright

Image copyright James Wright

Why should you be an MP?

Having grown up here, I realise the true potential of Norwich and I believe that my experience and priorities will work best for residents locally. I have spent many years involved in the local community as a city councillor and want to continue working for my city in Westminster.

What issue would get your vote in a general election?

I believe that the priority should be to reverse the illiberal changes to our civil liberties. Our prime minister is determined to have her government hold our information and interfere in our lives. We work best when individual rights are upheld and respected, and I want a government that realises this.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

I would definitely deliver an improved education system. As a school governor I know that Lib Dem plans to increase school funding by £7bn and triple the Early Years Pupil Premium would do wonders for children. I will do whatever I can to secure more school funding for Norwich.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

For 10 years I was part of a DJ collective at Norwich Waterfront, playing the Madchester music from our youth and refusing to grow older gracefully. Although this finished in 2007 we have recently played some UEA Student Union after event parties for the likes of the Happy Mondays.

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

Without a hesitation, I would have former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy as prime minister. Charles, who died in 2015, showed amazing courage with his leadership over the Iraq war and was also a passionate European. We need somebody now with this vision and clarity of leadership.

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