Labour’s candidate Mick Lerry has urged voters in Minehead to elect him as their MP and throw out Ian Liddell-Grainger. Mick told a hustings meeting in the Regal Theatre of Labour’s plans to invest in the NHS, tackle the cost of living crisis, help young people and boost small businesses.
Mick was joined on stage by the candidates from the Greens, the Lib Dems and UKIP – but not by the Conservative Liddell-Grainger. In his absence, Liddell-Grainger was mocked by the other candidates and the audience. “I just find the man unbelievable. His number’s up” was a typical comment.
The chair asked candidates if they thought they were wasting their time campaigning in a constituency which has returned Conservative MPs for the past 65 years. Mick responded by pointing out that local Conservatives have been among the fiercest critics of Liddell-Grainger. And he told the packed theatre: “You have a great opportunity to make history, by electing a Labour MP!”
Earlier, Mick drew warm applause for his pledge to scrap the bedroom tax, which he called “a cruel tax on many people.” He confronted UKIP head on by saying Labour believes Britain should say in Europe and a referendum would be damaging. And he stressed Labour promises to recruit doctors, nurses and midwives, to freeze energy bills and rail fares and to promote the living wage.
Labour Party member Jill Walmsley posed the last question of the debate, asking all the candidates the chief reason for voting for them.
Mick’s reply was:
“I want to get rid of income inequality. I want to make sure people can get a job with good wages. I want to make sure people can have a home to live in. I want to make sure people don’t have to go to food bank. I want to make sure that people who need health care can get it quickly from their hospital or GP.”
It was an evening of lively democratic debate. And an evening when Labour’s message came across loud and clear to the people of Minehead.