Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visits Crawley on campaign trail

Dominic Raab visits Crawley, with Conservative candidate Henry Smith and Tory campaigners
Dominic Raab visits Crawley, with Conservative candidate Henry Smith and Tory campaigners

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was in Crawley earlier this week on the campaign trail with the town’s Conservative parliamentary candidate.

Henry Smith, who has represented the constituency since 2010, is hoping to be re-elected when voters head to the polls next month (Thursday December 12).

He said: “I’m grateful to the Foreign Secretary for taking the time to come to Crawley and speak with local residents about some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

“We discussed a number of different subjects including the plight of the Chagossian people; many of whom have made Crawley their home. They deserve the right to return to their homeland after being forcibly removed.”

He added: “I was also pleased to put the concerns I’ve received in support of the people of Hong Kong directly to the Foreign Secretary. A number of Crawley residents have contacted me in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong using their rights to protest and vote. If I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected as Crawley MP I’ll continue to stand up for democracy at home and abroad.

“In contrast to some, I’ve always been unequivocal that the United Kingdom is a force for good around the world. For example, at the United Nations in September, the Prime Minister announced £515 million to help get over 12 million children – half of them girls – into school, boosting economic growth and improving women’s rights in some of the poorest countries in the world.

“Only with a majority Conservative Government will we see an outward-looking Global Britain on the international stage.”

Meanwhile this week Labour candidate Peter Lamb, has welcomed his party’s offer to pensioners.

This includes plans to introduce free personal care and invest £10.8bn in social care provision, keeping free bus passes, restoring thousands of bus routes, keeping free TV licences for over 75s, payouts for WASPI women affected by pensions changes and investing in home insulation.

Mr Lamb said: “Look at what’s happened to our country in the last few years: more pensioners in poverty and more children too. This is a rich country – we can do better than this.

“Labour will deliver real change for pensioners, supporting them to live the comfortable lives they deserve.”

The Lib Dems’ Crawley candidate has supported his party’s plans to freeze rail fares and stop planning increases.

Khalil Yousuf said: “Under the Tories, Crawley commuters have been catastrophically let down. People are paying way over the odds for what has often been an appalling service.

“The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by freezing fares from Crawley to London for the next five years, saving local commuters hundreds of pounds. We will properly invest in fixing our creaking rail network to improve capacity and reduce overcrowding, so Crawley commuters are no longer treated like cattle.

“But this is about more than just providing more funding. We will also strip rail companies of franchises if they don’t meet the standards expected of them and develop new transport mutual companies to foster alternative competition.”

Iain Dickson is also standing in Crawley as the Green candidate.

In this week’s Crawley Observer we hear from all four candidates hoping to be the town’s next MP.

Mr Dickson said: “I believe in an equal and just society and in making you and the environment central to our local and national economies. People and looking after our surroundings, must come before short term profit and money making. I believe very strongly, that we must act quickly to address the Climate Emergency facing us all.

“We need to build more social, zero carbon housing in Crawley, join many other councils in the UK in cutting local carbon emissions to zero by 2030, end austerity, properly fund vital services such as: the NHS, schools, social housing, etc. We need to reduce the gap between rich and poor, create a sustainable economy at local and national levels and urgently address climate change.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Crawley will host a hustings at their mosque premises on Wednesday December 4.

Doors at the Noor Mosque in Langley Drive open at 7pm, with the debate starting at 7.30pm.

Any wishing to attend should contact the organisers. Phone 0788 8669338 or email ahsanahmedi@aol.com