These are the candidates standing to be Arundel and South Downs MP at the 2019 General Election

These are the 5 candidates standing to be Arundel and South Downs next MP in the General Election.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 9:21 am

Each was invited to submit 250 words about themselves and their policies. Here’s what they had to say.

Alison Bennett - Liberal Democrats

“By many measures I am not what you would consider to be a ‘career politician’. As a Cambridge graduate with a background in business, I moved to Arundel and South Downs in 2012 to raise my family.

Top row, left to right, Andrew Griffith, Isabel Thurston, Robert Wheal. Bottom row, Bella Sankey, Alison Bennett

“It was only after the EU Referendum that I became active in politics: sitting on the side-lines was no longer enough.

“2019 has been an incredible year for the Lib Dems when record numbers of Liberal Democrat councillors and MEPs were elected in May. The local elections were undoubtedly special for me as I became Hurstpierpoint’s first ever Liberal Democrat councillor. I firmly believe that if we can win in a Conservative stronghold like Hurstpierpoint, then we can win in Arundel and South Downs.

“If elected I will fight for us to stay in the EU. A Liberal Democrat government would stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus that is generated through the boost to the economy in public services.

“We must work together to tackle the climate emergency; I will support local schemes to reduce carbon emissions and waste.

“I want to see a fairer society in West Sussex: one where our schools receive the funding they desperately need, and our health service provides excellent care for all regardless of whether you live near a big city hospital or in a small village.

“A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a positive choice to protect the environment and a remain bonus for a fairer, stronger and brighter future. Please join us for local change.

Andrew Griffith - Conservative Party

“I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for Arundel and South Downs and I pledge to be a strong local voice for residents.

“I believe that Westminster needs people with achievements outside of politics and I hope to bring some common sense and the ability to get things done.

“Locally, I will fight to protect our countryside from unsustainable overdevelopment, for more police in our towns and villages, better bus and train services, an A27 Arundel Bypass, support for our farmers and for quality public services.

“On the doorstep in this election, residents have been telling me that whether they voted to remain or leave back in 2016, the most important thing is to now get Brexit done so that we can move on to other priorities such as investing in our police, our NHS and our schools.

“I have long standing business experience with a 25 year career as finance director and then chief operating officer at Sky and as a former chairman of Just Eat.

“I stepped down from these roles this summer after being asked by the Prime Minister to be his chief business advisor in No10 Downing Street. I have particularly focused on help for small businesses which are the lifeblood of the West Sussex economy with measures like reducing the employment tax and cutting business rates.

“I live in the Arundel and South Downs constituency with my wife of more than 20 years, our two children, our labrador and cocker spaniel.”

Bella Sankey - Labour Party

“I was born and raised in Sussex and live here with my husband and daughter. My background is in human rights and while I wasn’t expecting to spend my maternity leave fighting this General Election, there’s so much at stake I felt inspired to act.

“Mr Johnson’s deal with the EU would rip the Union apart, but worse still it sets us on course for a hard Brexit at the end of 2020, destroying jobs and small businesses in our rural and farming communities. Only the Labour party can stop this. In Arundel and South Downs, Labour came clear second place in 2017 doubling our share of the vote. If we do that again we can win.

“Labour advocates renegotiating a deal with the EU which would protect jobs, workers rights and environmental standards and then taking it back to the nation in a People’s Vote. I am a committed Remainer and I would campaign for Remain in a second referendum.

“Labour has the vision and the values to take our country forward. We would deal with the Climate Emergency by ending carbon emissions through phasing out fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. Locally we oppose the Arundel bypass and support the Arundel Alternative.

“Labour would end austerity and invest in a transformative agenda for schools, hospitals, GP services and adult social care. We would introduce a £10 minimum wage for all and end commuter misery by providing better integrated transport services run for people rather than profit.”

Isabel Thurston - Green Party

The Green Party has selected local Arun District Councillor Isabel Thurston to be the Green candidate for Arundel and the South Downs at the General Election. Isabel has lived and worked in the area for many years and one of her pleasures is walking in the beautiful weald and downland countryside.

She is passionate about supporting rural residents at this challenging time, and would stand up for small businesses and farmers as new laws emerge, aiming to ensure a fair system for all as well as more effective environmental protection. The Green Party are leading the way on moving to a zero-carbon society, and Isabel says; “One of my key priorities for Arundel and South Downs would be public transport. Intense effort should be put into ensuring that rural areas have the joined up and effective services required to become less car dependent.

“This along with other measures such as clean power and tree planting, would help the congestion suffered by our towns and villages and ensure we are moving to a carbon free, safer future.”

The Green Party would also ensure a shift in funding to enable fully funded local councils to deliver truly excellent education, healthcare and public services for residents.

Robert Stephen Wheal - Independent

Robert Stephen Wheal ex-district councillor for Arundel and Walberton Ward, businessman of some 35 years’ experience and resident in Arundel for the past ten years will contest this constituency in the forthcoming general election.

“I’m standing in Arundel and South Downs constituency because it is imperative that the UK leaves the EU on the mandate the UK people gave parliament in the June 2016 referendum, when the majority voted to leave.

“Democracy has been betrayed and which I wish to defend and regain to Westminster.

“Labour and Tories no longer represent the people in our constituency or country.

“I wish reform of the House of Lords, the BBC licence fee, the civil service and deal effectively with electoral fraud/postal voting.

“To save the £39billion + of taxpayers hard earned cash by leaving EU with a FTA.

“To ensure the UK leaves all EU legal controls, has a controlled immigration policy and the ability to trade freely globally, to the benefit of British jobs and businesses in the UK and our area.

“To join with other political parties in reducing our Co2 emissions by sensible means.

“The people of our constituency deserve transparent representation which they have not received from successive governments in decades.”