Isle of Wight East – We asked all the candidates why you should vote for them

For the final newspaper before the election next Thursday, we asked all the candidates to let us have a short message saying why Islanders should vote for them, concentrating on local, not national issues.

Here are their answers in the order in which they were received.

Michael Lilley - Liberal Democrat

I live in the Isle of Wight East Constituency and have served as town and IW Councillor for eight years. I was Mayor of Ryde for four years, serving the community during Covid19 and building a future for the largest town on the Island.

The reason I emphasise this is I want to be judged on my track record, fighting to save farmland from being unnecessarily built on, fighting against child poverty, getting NHS dentists for all Islanders, stopping sewage onto our beaches, and getting equality for all Islanders. If you want an engaged listening local MP with a track record of getting things done, please vote for me!

David Groocock - Independent

Fighting this election campaign as an Independent I realise that people really want change, not only on the Island but change throughout our political system. Only you can make that happen.

These are some of the real issues that I believe you want. Accountable and better ferry services, less water pollution, less crime, radical thinking on the future of the NHS, better accessible dental care, help for first-time buyers, more provision for rented accommodation, taking climate change seriously and being prepared for climate emergencies, special immediate government funding for those emergencies. My promise to you is that I will always put the Island first to make these happen.

Emily Brothers - Labour

My belief in our Island’s potential, coupled with passion to fix Broken Britain, is why I seek your support and trust to deliver change.

We need stability, investment and reform with an Island pact that stimulates economic growth and addresses additional resources needed to deliver public services. I will encourage regeneration for our derelict high streets, investment for creative arts and environmentally friendly tourism, supporting solutions to Ventnor landslip and flooding.

Labour will tackle unreliable unaffordable cross-solent travel with robust regulation, apply tough measures to stop toxic sewage entering our rivers and sea, build more affordable social housing and embrace clean energy for the benefit of Isle of Wight East.

Vix Lowthion - Green

To be the first MP for IW East would be the honour of my life. This election feels so positive and I do believe that we can win it this time.

I have a proven track record of standing up for Islanders over the last decade, and through my position as the national spokesperson for the Greens. I pledge to work incredibly hard to tackle the challenges we face – particularly the ferries and a brighter future for our young people.

I am proud to have been voted the East Wight Primary People’s Champion. As your MP I promise to do all I can to bring hope for Islanders in the years to come.

Joe Robertson - Conservative

I am asking East Wight residents to put the national picture to one side and choose the best local candidate to become our new MP.

This is a decision which is in our own hands. I hope I have been able to show that I have the energy, experience and commitment to make our Island home an even better place to live, work, grow up and grow old. I will work with any government, Conservative or Labour, to put the Island first – to promote business and jobs, improve community care, deal with the ferries, and deliver on all of our shared priorities for the future.

Sarah Morris - Reform UK

I promise you I will always put our Island first, and will speak up loudly as your representative.

We need somebody strong enough to push for competition with the ferries, who knows about flooding, has run businesses on the Island, someone who has seen firsthand the best and worst of our local hospital and dentist services, someone who will listen and fight for what is right, and that is me.

I want my children to be able to bring up children of their own here, and that means sorting out schools and housing and jobs. I have a vested interest to make this work, and I won’t give up.