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General Election 2019: How Cambridge candidates answered four key questions




We put four key questions to the Parliamentary candidates for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Jeremy Caddick, Green Party
  • Rod Cantrill, Liberal Democrats
  • Peter Dawe, The Brexit Party
  • Keith Garrett, Rebooting Democracy
  • Miles Hurley, Independent
  • Russell Perrin, Conservatives
  • Jane Robins, Social Democratic Party
  • Daniel Zeichner, Labour.

Below are their answers. You can follow the election in Cambridge and neighbouring constituencies live on this site.

Jeremy Caddick, Green Party

Jeremy Caddick, the Green Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Keith Heppell
Jeremy Caddick, the Green Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Keith Heppell

Why should voters pick you?

Our future will be shaped by the way we respond to the climate emergency. Greens offer a realistic and hopeful vision of how we can do this by addressing inequality, decarbonising our economy and reconnecting with the natural world. We will be happier, saner as a result, and, crucially, our children and grandchildren will inherit a sustainable civilisation. But radical change is a given. Business as usual is not an option.

What is your position on Brexit?

The vote to leave was an outcome of years of austerity, producing anger and hopelessness in many of our towns and cities. We need to address this state of alienation by rebuilding communities and restoring public services. Now that voters know what Brexit involves, it should be put to a people’s vote. Greens will campaign vigorously to retain the current excellent deal we enjoy as a member of the EU as better than anything we would get if we left.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

Cambridge needs to develop in ways that improve quality of life for everyone. This involves prioritising sustainable, healthy, accessible and reliable public transport and providing housing at rates that people can afford. The Green New Deal we are proposing is a massive investment in sustainable infrastructure. We also putting forward measures to protect tenants and reform the way that property is taxed to make property less attractive to speculators. Electric public transport will help tackle unhealthy levels of air pollution.

What is most important to this constituency?

Cambridge is a hotspot for development and innovation. This brings prosperity but we need to make sure that the proceeds are shared. Cambridge is full of innovators and entrepreneurs who can contribute with technologies and strategies that will allow us to decarbonise the way we live. Cambridge is one of the most unequal cities in the country.Green proposals for a Universal Basic Income would guarantee all residents a decent minimum to live on.

Rod Cantrill, Liberal Democrats

Rod Cantrill, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election
Rod Cantrill, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

Stopping Brexit is my absolute priority, so we can address the big issues we face such as climate change, investing in public services and tackling inequality. I will be a progressive MP committed to doing politics differently, working with others where we agree on policy, not party. I have lived here for 30 years, it is where I met my wife and where my kids have grown up. Residents tell me they not only need a good constituency MP but one who has a powerful presence on the national stage.

What is your position on Brexit?

Only a vote for me is a vote to stop Brexit. Brexit goes against the values we hold dear: openness, internationalism and diversity. The Liberal Democrats are the strongest and clearest voice for Remain. Jeremy Corbyn and Labour continue to sit on the fence on the most important issue we face. Brexit will keep us from the urgent challenges: climate change and lack of equal opportunities. By voting for me you will make sure you have a MP in Westminster whose party stands resolutely for Remain.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

We need to build a fairer city, one where everyone can share in the city’s success and which every resident can be proud to call home. Critical to this is a modern, cheap, reliable public transport network and new affordable housing that is truly sustainable. As your MP I will campaign for a Cambridge Living Wage, paying a higher hourly rate, Living Rents fixed at just a third of household income and an end to rough sleeping.

What is most important to this constituency?

Cambridge people are open and international. It’s central to our values and the city’s culture, and it’s vital to all who depend on the staffing of our public services. It’s also the lifeblood of our two universities and enables our many ground-breaking businesses to flourish and create even more opportunity. Brexit threatens our hospitals, our schools, our universities and businesses. A vote for me is a vote to protect our city and share in its success.

Peter Dawe, The Brexit Party

Dr Peter Dawe, the Brexit Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election
Dr Peter Dawe, the Brexit Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

As ‘The Cambridge SuperHero’, I have done my best to mitigate the problems of Cambridge. Homes, homeless, health, stopping growth, transport, etc. Voting for me will power-up these initiatives so that we, together, can really transform the Cambridge agenda to one of happiness rather than greed.

What is your position on Brexit?

The EU institutions operate for the benefit of the £££ corporations that spend millions lobbying the unelected commission. The UK leaving the EU will force the EU to truly reform or die. Without having to conform to the “speed of the slowest” EU consensus, the UK can lead the fight against climate change.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

The Cambridge region’s growth must stop immediately. We must stop building workplaces, at least until the housing supply and infrastructure has caught up. We should convert offices and labs into housing, until we have a balanced community.

What is most important to this constituency?

The global climate, water and food crisis is the single most dangerous thing facing everyone. Radical policies, using the internet for video international meetings rather than travel, Insulation rather than heating. We need to build renewable energy everywhere, including wind turbines on-shore and solar panels on south-facing hills. We need to ration the global extraction of fossil fuels to ensure we do not overshoot safe CO2 levels.

Keith Garrett, Rebooting Democracy

Keith Garrett, the Rebooting Democracy candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election
Keith Garrett, the Rebooting Democracy candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

I will move away from party politics towards deliberative evidence-based decision making. All decisions would be made from a group of randomly selected constituents who would deliberate using the latest evidence. This would be a citizens’ jury (a smaller version of the citizens’ assembly just held in Cambridge about congestion) – an open process where all can see the evidence and the decisions being made. See the party website for more about true democracy.

What is your position on Brexit?

The party has no position on Brexit. All votes on all subjects would be put to a citizens’ jury made up of people from the constituency to decide how to vote each time. This is true representation. As the party grows and we move towards random selection and deliberation being used at all levels we will use citizens’ assemblies and other deliberative forms to set the agenda of legislation to go forward with.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

This is where random selection and deliberative democracy really comes into its own. A series of one-day randomly selected events (G1000s) could be held to bring the community to discuss its own path forward. The output of these along with input from local stakeholders and groups would be fed into a citizens’ assembly that would create a plan of how we proceed into the future. This would give us a Cambridge plan made by all of Cambridge.

What is most important to this constituency?

The party and myself don’t offer up specifics. I hold opinions but these would have nothing to do with how I would act as an MP. To follow this is to descend into personality politics. Rebooting Democracy is about changing the system so that good decisions can be made every time on the best available evidence. It is important to Cambridge that me and my fellow constituents all have open minds about how democracy can really work for us.

Miles Hurley, Independent

Miles Hurley, an independent candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election
Miles Hurley, an independent candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

As an independent candidate, the only people I’m answerable to are the people of Cambridge. The other candidates will have to toe the party line on a number of issues, some of which may not necessarily be in the best interests of Cambridge; will the candidates put party before city? No such dilemma would exist with me, as I’d always have the interests of Cambridge at heart.

What is your position on Brexit?

On the whole, staunch remainer. I’ve lectured in EU law for the last 14 years and believe much of the UK’s problem with the EU stems from successive UK governments’ over interpretation of EU law. If we stay, the UK needs to take a more prevalent role in the running and decision making of the EU. If we leave, then we need to leave with a far more advantageous deal than the dog’s dinner currently on offer.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

It depends what you mean by “develop”. If by this you mean economic growth with new business developments, this is clearly not going to be sustainable particularly with regard to transport and environmental issues. In terms of developing as a community, we need to lose the label of being the UK’s most unequal city in terms of wealth distribution. Certainly a levy on tourists visiting Cambridge could go some way to funding improvements.

What is most important to this constituency?

What I’m hearing on the doorstep is that housing and transport are the key issues. We clearly need to build more social and affordable housing (and “affordable” for key workers such as teachers and health care workers), but in as a sustainable manner as possible; current developments have led to serious consequences for the River Cam.

Russell Perrin, Conservatives

Russell Perrin, the Conservative candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election
Russell Perrin, the Conservative candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

I will be a strong voice for the people of Cambridge. My campaign focuses on supporting the NHS with a new children’s hospital at Addenbrooke’s. Increasing school funding, with an extra £1,000 per Cambridge pupil. Building an even better Cambridge investing in the A428 and South Cambridge railway station and opposing the city congestion charge. As a science teacher, I want to see Cambridge become the Silicon Valley of Britain with promoting science at the core of government policy.

What is your position on Brexit?

Many important issues need addressing but Brexit is consuming so much political energy. The people of Cambridge are democratic with a global outlook. They want Britain to be a leading example of a free democratic nation exporting British innovation and goods around the world. I’ve met many people who voted leave but many more who voted to remain and who think we should respect the result, get Brexit done and move on. Boris has a good deal – let’s get Brexit done.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

We should continue to invest in all levels of education. It is a peculiar paradox that despite being the home of a world-renowned university, Cambridge is ranked 303 out of 533 areas in England for below-level adult literacy rates. I see education as the greatest social mobiliser. If Cambridge is to develop for the benefit of everyone the advantages that come from a good education need to be for the many and not the few.

What is most important to this constituency?

There are so many issues that are important to the people of Cambridge that I don’t think one issue dominates. However, I think tackling the city’s homelessness problem is critically important on a humanitarian level. Having a warm and safe place to live is something many of us take for granted and will probably never have to worry about. That’s why I’m pleased the Conservatives are expanding the rough sleepers initiative and housing first program to tackle this issue.

Jane Robins, Social Democratic Party

Jane Robins, the Social Democratic Party candidate for Cambridge in the 2019 General Election
Jane Robins, the Social Democratic Party candidate for Cambridge in the 2019 General Election

Why should voters pick you?

The Social Democratic Party is left of centre and resurgent under new leadership. I believe Cambridge needs the SDP to represent those who want to see a new force on the left – a party that will be economically-responsible and will also provide properly-funded services. We can’t win here, but with enough votes, we can start something new and exciting. I live in Cambridge and work here as a crime writer. I’m committed to serving our wonderful city.

What is your position on Brexit?

The referendum vote must be honoured. Leavers and many remainers are despairing of the democratic process. On the doorstep in Leave areas, I’ve met citizens not just jaded but angry at politicians who have tried to sabotage Brexit. In other areas, I’ve met remainers who wish that ‘we would just get on with it’. We believe that the UK has a positive and prosperous future as an independent nation, working closely with our friends in Europe and across the world.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

Cambridge is an incredible global city. After Brexit, we must continue to attract the brightest and best from across the world. The potential for our city to grow further in leading the way academically, scientifically and in technological innovation is immense. But we have pockets of deprivation too – and an extraordinarily high level of inequality. I’ve been out and about speaking to people in the poorer areas of Cambridge. Better housing, better policing, better social care are all priorities.

What is most important to this constituency?

The social division we see across the country is here in Cambridge too. For me, it is a priority that Jeremy Corbyn does not win this election – I believe he would sow yet more division, would bankrupt the country and is a national security risk. Cambridge relies on the UK being an open, tolerant nation that welcomes investment and innovation. If we jeopardise that, we are lost. The SDP is the party of hope in divided times.

Daniel Zeichner, Labour

Daniel Zeichner, the Labour Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Richard Marsham
Daniel Zeichner, the Labour Party candidate for Cambridge at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Richard Marsham

Why should voters pick you?

I’m principled, experienced and independent-minded. I have always put Cambridge first, even at the cost of giving up my front-bench position, to press for a strong remain position, a decision vindicated by Labour’s manifesto promise of a People’s Vote. My values, on the climate emergency, on the EU, on social justice, on improved public services and on supporting innovation and research chime with the vast majority of people in Cambridge.

What is your position on Brexit?

Remain, remain and remain. There is now only one road to remain, and that is via the People’s Vote. At every point I have used my vote to keep us in the EU - battling to get the meaningful vote, opposing May’s deal, then Johnson’s and stopping no deal. Our cross-party alliance had Johnson cornered. We had the votes to secure a referendum. Jo Swinson put party interest first and triggered this early election. We can still get that People’s Vote, but only if Labour is the largest party. If Labour doesn’t win Cambridge, we leave the EU.

How should Cambridge develop for the benefit of everyone?

Our city is too divided. Labour’s radical plans will provide a major boost for our sixth form colleges and regional college, and secure our local nurseries that have been under threat. Free dental checks will boost many people’s health. Access to mental health services are too often slow, with assessments for young people particularly problematic. Restoring the nursing bursary will restore the staff numbers we need.

What is most important to this constituency?

Keeping Cambridge special and making it special for everyone. That means housing to rent that people can actually afford, with more council housing and a massive retrofit to bring all our homes up to high energy-efficient standards. It means better pay for public service workers, and tackling the root causes of poverty and street homelessness. A more equal city is better for everyone.

Read more

General Election 2019: Who is standing in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and South East Cambridgeshire?

Raucous hustings reveals Cambridge candidates’ climate policy strengths and weaknesses

Final YouGov poll puts Liberal Democrat Ian Sollom ahead of Tory Anthony Browne in South Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire candidates answer four key questions

South East Cambridgeshire candidates answer four key questions



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