General election 2019: Meet the candidates in Ilford North
PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:04 25 November 2019
The Recorder has asked each parliamentary candidate standing in Ilford North to describe, in their own words, why they deserve your vote. Here's what they had to say.
Donald Akhigbe - Christian Peoples Alliance
"My name is Donald Akhigbe and I am running as a candidate for Ilford North constituency under the Christian Peoples Alliance
"I'm a Christian and worship at Christ Embassy Chadwell Heath where I play a very active role as a church worker.
"I also get involved in community events and I do salsa dancing as a way of exercising
"With a Master's degree in Project Management, I work in the construction industry where I specialise in the residential sector, building homes all over London.
"I believe in true freedom of religion and that means parents, as the primary custodian of children, should be allowed to opt-out of any lessons that are in variance with their religious beliefs and/or moral views.
"When voted in, I will ensure that the religious and moral views of residents are respected and adhered to in the primary school system, I will also ensure that the lessons children are taught are age-appropriate."
Neil Anderson - The Brexit Party
"I was brought up in Ilford North and have lived here for most of my life.
"The majority of voters here, as elsewhere, voted in 2016 to leave the EU and it is the democratic responsibility of Parliament to obey this instruction.
"I am therefore standing for the Brexit Party to ensure that this happens.
"I have had a varied career and am not a professional politician, which is to my advantage considering the contemptuous behaviour of the established parties in recent years.
"Not only should the electorate be heard nationally, but also locally; however, this is not happening in Ilford North, an example being the decision to build homeless accommodation on Manford Way Park.
"I want to give local people a stronger voice on issues that matter and would fight to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, improve the quality of healthcare services, increase rates of access to first-choice school places and invest in repairing our roads."
Howard Berlin - Conservative
"I am a Barkingside resident and green space campaigner and I have been selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North.
"I led the campaign to stop Redbridge Council building on Oakfield Playing Fields and I am delighted to be selected.
"Over the last two years we have seen our local MP ignore the wishes of the residents of Ilford North, who voted 53pc to 47pc to leave the EU, as he has constantly blocked Brexit, and the wishes of 17.4m people.
"That stops now.
"Let's get Brexit done, by backing Boris and his deal. I pledge to support Boris's deal.
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"As a Redbridge Councillor for Fairlop ward I have seen the catastrophic decline of Ilford North under a Labour Council.
"The streets are filthier than ever before, there are unkempt verges and potholed roads. I am determined to put the pride back into Ilford North."
Mark Johnson - Lib Dems
"The upcoming general election leaves voters with two choices: to vote for parties that would see us crash out of the EU or to vote for one that would stop what would undoubtedly be a damaging step for our country.
"The London Borough of Redbridge voted remain and it is vital that the voices of those who did so are heard.
"I am standing to be the unambiguous pro-remain candidate for Ilford North at this general election.
"The Tories have called this election to opportunistically try and boost Boris Johnson's disastrous Brexit deal while some of our biggest problems are overlooked.
"The Liberal Democrats want to fix London's housing crisis by building more affordable homes and protect our environment by ensuring the air we breath is clean and safe.
"If you want to stop Brexit and build a brighter future, there is democratic way to do so. It is to vote Liberal Democrat."
David Reynolds - The Green Party
I'm standing to offer voters the chance to vote for a party that will end the Tory government's failed austerity programme, and instead implement progressive policies based on social justice, including imaginative initiatives such as moving to a four-day working week; call a halt to airport expansion, while continuing to campaign against concentrated flight paths over Redbridge; and bring the Brexit saga to a close by offering a People's Vote.
But overriding all other issues, the 2019 general election must be the Climate Election.
Only the Green Party puts the climate at the heart of everything it does, and is not afraid to tell people the extent of the challenges that need to addressed. Ours is a transformative programme which aims to move the economy away from its harmful dependence on carbon, achieving net carbon neutrality by 2030, and to invest in the infrastructure that will allow us to live within our ecological limits, while reversing social and economic inequality.
Wes Streeting - Labour
"We've seen the impact of nearly a decade of Conservative Government on our community: cuts to school budgets, longer NHS waiting times and fewer police on our streets to name a few. We can't go on like this.
"Ilford North again faces a choice between keeping a strong, local, independent-minded Labour MP standing up for Ilford North or giving the Conservatives the green light for more of the same.
"I'm standing on my record. I've been one of Parliament's most active MPs and visible in our community, I helped lead the successful campaign to save King George A&E and I've helped thousands of local residents.
"I've been prepared to challenge my own leadership when I think they're wrong and have worked cross-party to get things right.
"For an MP who'll fight your corner and stand up against injustice at home and abroad, I hope you'll re-elect me on December 12."
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.