Sasha KhanSasha Khan
Sasha Khan

General election 2024: East Surrey candidates were given 100 words to sell themselves to you

Prior to the recent boundary changes East Surrey returned a Conservative with an absolute majority at every election – that’s more that 50 per cent of the vote – and Claire Coutinho will be hoping to continue that run under redrawn boundaries on July 4.

Six parties will be looking to break that sequence but recent history offers little guidance as to who is likely to emerge as the biggest challengers; in each of the past three elections a different group, Liberal Democrats, Labour and UKIP, has finished runner up.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted all seven candidates looking to secure your vote at the general election and gave them 100 words to explain why they deserve your vote

The candidates, in alphabetical order by surname, are below.

Tom Bowell , Labour

“I’m standing to deliver a fresh start for East Surrey. After 14 years of the Tories, our economy is stagnant and our public services broken.

“Labour has a plan to cut NHS waiting lists, grow our economy, cut energy bills and build homes.

“As someone neurodivergent, growing up wasn’t always easy – but I’ve worked hard in spite of this and I want to do the same for our communities, especially when it comes to Special Educational Needs

I grew up in Croydon, and I was lucky to spend lots of time in the beautiful Surrey countryside whilst growing up, and if elected I’ll buy a home in the constituency.”

Claire Couthino, Conservative

“It has been the privilege of my life to serve as your MP since 2019.

“I come from an NHS family, so I grew up with a deep appreciation for public service, and I am proud that my team and I have completed more than 20,000 pieces of casework and raised over £10,000 for local community groups.

“If I am re-elected my priorities will be to fight Labour’s plan to build on our precious Green Belt, install joined-up CCTV systems in our town centres to tackle crime, and make sure local commuters’ voices are heard when rail operators draft their timetables.”

Martin Hogbin, Monster Raving Loony Party

“I am a retired physicist and businessman, and I live with my wife in Oxted.

Important to me are: Exercising the right of any adult British citizen to stand for Parliament, no matter how bizarre or outrageous their views.

Making politics more honest and less boring, using the “beerometer-of-politics” to clearly explain political statistics. Giving voters a recognised, recorded and publicised “none of the above” vote I am standing as a candidate for -parliament because I am fed up with sitting down.

I will probably benefit the people of East Surrey by not being elected.

Shasha Khan, Green

I’m married with two children. I am a domestic energy assessor and a chess coach. I was elected as councillor for Hooley, Merstham and Netherne in 2023. I’ve worked hard for the community since being elected.

Having been a community campaigner for over 20 years, I’ve found my status as councillor has given me a greater opportunity to improve the quality of life for everyone.

I’ve successfully initiated a community bus service for Netherne and I’m working with campaigners to secure a full public bus service. In Merstham, I have secured an additional youth project and campaigned against the closure of shops.

Claire Malcomson, Liberal Democrats

Claire Malcomson is an experienced Surrey councillor, of 10 years. Her work has lowered councils’ carbon footprint and increased biodiversity. She is concerned about the cost-of-living particularly for young people, whom she is a champion of.

Claire is an advocate for mental health – saddened and shocked by the lack of SEN support. She wants improvements to the NHS and social care to release beds and lower waiting lists.

She believes in Surrey we need better infrastructure including roads, doctors and NHS dentist appointments. Most of all, Claire wants to bring back honesty and integrity back to Government.

Judy Moore, Independent

I was elected Independent district councillor for Felbridge (2021-4).

I sat on planning and planning policy committees, working groups including: community infrastructure levy (money made from house-building), Gatwick new runway, climate change and the A22 corridor study.

I have lived in Surrey for 39 years. I worked for the community in NHS hospital pharmacy, as a primary teacher and sports’ coach.

I first became interested in politics during austerity. I stand for freedom, democracy and self-determination. I attend political interests in London.

Issues important to me are protecting our countryside, improving infrastructure, housing, Gatwick, pensions and knife crime.

Chris Scott Reform UK

I’m a retired airline pilot. My wife, a retired SRN, and I raised our three children in Purley before moving to beautiful East Surrey.

We live in the world’s greatest nation, but 13 years of Labour and 14 years of Tory government have led to a broken Britain and the undermining of our tolerant, Judaeo-Christian values, which it has become fashionable to reject and despise.

Reform UK and I challenge that defeatist, woke mindset. When elected, I will campaign against rising crime, long waiting times at A&E, and the threat of a rising immigrant population on our already overloaded infrastructure.

ENDS