MP hopeful launches his campaign

By Carole Dennett May 24, 2024
Joe Robertson's supporters

Tory MP hopeful for the Isle of Wight East constituency, Joe Robertson, launched his election campaign earlier today in Ventnor, bolstered by the presence of Trade Minister, Greg Hands.

The launch event, attended by around 30 local Conservative Association members, marked the start of Mr Robertson’s bid to secure a win in the forthcoming election on July 4.

Mr Robertson and Mr Hands started their campaign activities with a visit to Leeson Road, where they discussed the various challenges facing Ventnor. The message had additional impact as it was delivered outside Cheetah Marine on Ventnor Esplanade. The two were given a tour of the facility and briefed on the impact of the local road closure on the business along with other issues.

Mr Hands agreed that government funding was needed to help address the challenges, however, he also urged the Isle of Wight Council to act swiftly to address the town’s difficulties. “I’m receiving a strong message that the IW Council needs to move more quickly,” he told the IW Observer.

Asked why he thought Mr Robertson would make a good MP, Mr Hands cited his deep-rooted connection to the Isle of Wight. “Joe would make a great MP because he was born and brought up on the Island and knows it so well,” he said. “With two young children, he is very invested in improving the Island’s education system”.

Greg Hands and Joe Robertson

The Minister also explained that he believed that Mr Robertson’s legal and health background (he trained as a solicitor and now works as a legal advisor for a health charity) would mean that as a hardworking MP he would be able to effectively lobby MPs and minsters on matters important to Islanders.

Responding to the IW Observer’s questions about the Island’s unreliable and expensive ferry services, Mr Hands admitted he did not have all the answers, as he was not a transport minister. However, he recommended that Islanders read the recent report by current MP, Bob Seely.

Mr Robertson said he was grateful for Mr Hands’ support and spoke about his ongoing work to engage with local residents. “I have been regularly out with a team of supporters knocking on doors to find out the views of residents for many months,” he said. “We need to get out our positive message. Between now and polling day on July 4, I will be working hard every day on my election campaign.”

The event concluded with a walk along the seafront up to the Spyglass Inn, where they enjoyed a drink with local members and supporters.

The final date for nominations for candidates to stand in the election is June 7. So far, the confirmed candidates for Isle of Wight East are Emily Brothers (Labour), Michael Lilley (Lib Dem), Vix Lowthian (Green), and Sarah Morris (Reform UK).