Strong and stable or time for change? North West Norfolk candidates make their pitch to voters

Lynn News election hustings at London Road Methodist Church,
Lynn News election hustings at London Road Methodist Church,
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It may initially have been seen as the Brexit election, but the choices on offer to voters next week were certainly apparent as the North West Norfolk candidates made their hustings pitches.

Conservative candidate Sir Henry Bellingham placed Brexit, security and the economy at the heart of his pitch.

He said the country needed a strong leader both in the negotiations with the EU and to tackle threats to its security.

He also highlighted the “strong, thriving local economy” that he argued was key to supporting public services.

However, Labour’s Jo Rust urged voters to seek an alternative when they cast their ballots next Thursday and pledged she would fight for increased investment in the area if she is elected.

She said: “I know and value the same services as you because I use them too.

“For too long, we have been underfunded in North West Norfolk. We need a change.”

For UKIP, Michael Stone warned Tory policies would “hit all sorts of people very, very hard” if they were re-elected and criticised their handling of the budget deficit.

He said: “We’ve had this deficit since 2008. It looks like it’s going to carry on for another 10 years. Do we want another 10 years of austerity?”

Michael de Whalley, for the Green Party, said he wanted to protect the NHS from “further fragmentation”, advocated the creation of a sustainable economy and urged greater focus on the threat of climate change.

He said: “This is the biggest challenge of our times. We should not let the Brexit election distract us from that.”

And the Liberal Democrats’ Rupert Moss-Eccardt said voters had the power “to change Britain’s future” at the ballot box.

He said: “I want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.

“You’ll hear some stuff that suggests we can’t be that, but I think we can.”