General election 2019: Meet the candidates in Ilford South
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:49 29 November 2019
The Recorder has asked each parliamentary candidate standing in Ilford South to describe, in their own words, why they deserve your vote. Here's what they had to say.
Ali Azeem - Conservative
"I was born and raised in Ilford South, and have spent most of my life here.
"I grew up watching my parents work hard, running a small accounting practice on Ley Street whilst remaining active in the local community.
"I continued their example, and after studying at comprehensive schools in the area, I was accepted into Cambridge University.
"Since graduating, I have built a career in advising large businesses and senior politicians on how to create growth.
"I now want to use the skills I've learnt to benefit my hometown.
"This is important now more than ever, as Ilford continues to decline.
"That is why I will focus on increasing support and investment into our town and the people that live here.
"I will work on securing funding for nearby hospitals, more police, and creating a better future for our children through education.
"The people I have spoken with on the doorsteps want a chance for change in Ilford, and that is exactly what I intend to deliver."
Mike Gapes - Independent Group for Change
"I'm a local man with a national and international voice - born in Wanstead Hospital in 1952 and educated at Manford Primary School.
"I live in Ilford, my children went to local schools, I know the issues that matter to the people of Ilford and I have been a staunch campaigner to protect residents' quality of life in the 27 years I have been the sitting MP here.
"I left the Labour Party in February after 50 years, because I do not believe that Jeremy Corbyn is fit to be prime minister, but I decided to stand again in this election because I feel I owe it to this community I have served for so long to keep fighting in their name.
"I firmly believe that No Deal Brexit would be disastrous for this country and my preferred option would be to stay in the EU altogether - that is why I'm campaigning under the slogan #RemainWithMike."
Ashburn Holder - Lib Dems
"'Why are you standing?' and 'Why do you support the Liberal Democrats?' - are two of the first questions asked.
"My answer is 'It is because I wholeheartedly believe in a good quality of life for everybody, with absolutely no exceptions.'
"This is why the pertinent issues at the forefront of my 2019 campaign are: -
"- CRIME - zero tolerance; drugs & prostitution- Ilford Lane has is the bane of many
"- HOUSING - increased volume of affordable & social housing;
"- HEALTH - expansion of the King George Hospital & non expansion of London City Airport;
"- EDUCATION - better funded, improved & increased teaching facilities;
"- BETTER FACILITIES & protection for all vulnerable in citizens, absolutely
"I truly and honestly believe that the country has been offered a real choice, not only to make Ilford South a better place to work and live, but to change the course of UK politics for generations to come."
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Munish Sharma - The Brexit Party
"I'm really excited about representing Ilford South, where I went to school, grew up and live.
"Like many, my parents immigrated to the UK, had little wealth, but worked hard for our family.
"I studied law, first in the UK and then in France and the USA. I initially worked in law and with education.
"I spent the last 9 years in financial regulation. This included negotiating EU banking laws for the UK and spending the last 5 years as a compliance officer at JP Morgan.
"I am campaigning to genuinely leave the EU, so we can get on and review laws for smaller business and achieve closer trade relationships with countries outside the EU.
"We must also reform politics (including introducing proportional representation), urgently tackle environmental challenges and improve law and order.
"We also have specific plans for the NHS including centralising procurement activity and cutting private sector involvement."
Sam Tarry - Labour
"I've lived in this community for nearly 30 years.
"It's made me who I am, shaping my outlook on life, from my first job as a cleaner at Redbridge College, to stacking shelves at Ilford Sainsbury's to help fund my education.
"This area is my hometown and that's why I understand what's needed for this community.
"I will fight relentlessly to improve the lives of everyone in Ilford South and enable our community to thrive.
"This means ensuring cuts to lifesaving A&E services at King George Hospital are not only reversed but NHS provision is expanded.
"This means implementing flagship Labour policies such as 30 hours-a-week of free childcare and the re-opening of Sure Start children's centres.
"This means ring-fencing funding for vital youth services, such as those at Frenford Youth Club, to help tackle crime.
"Finally, this means prioritising affordable housing and alleviating homelessness for the most vulnerable in our community."
RoseMary Warrington - The Green Party
RoseMary has lived in east London since 1975 when she was studying at Queen Mary University of London. She graduated in mathematics, most recently working as a business analyst. Always involved in social justice and environment issues, RoseMary has been an active member of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party for more than ten years.
Campaigns that RoseMary has continues to be active in Ilford South include saving the full A&E and building a new wing at King George Hospital, against the concentration of flight paths and the expansion of City Airport and against the Silvertown Tunnel. She supported the successful fight for Oakfield playing fields.
If elected she will work for:
more NHS investment in Ilford South, King George hospital and the loss of provision in the south of the constituency
more genuinely affordable, secure, decent housing
for small and local businesses
for clean air and less pollution
for better public transport, reaching more residents.
for a fairer and greener future.
The deadline to register to vote in the December 12 general election is November 26. Registering to vote takes less than five minutes, and you can do it at electoralcommission.org.uk.