Home secretary James Cleverly visits West Sussex on election trail

Home Secretary James Cleverly was on the election trail in West Sussex this morning (Thursday June 13).

He met Crawley Conservative candidate Zack Ali and was accompanied by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne in Northgate, Crawley, before door-knocking in the neighbourhood.

He also spent time posing for selfies with local Tory supporters.

The home secretary’s visit followed that of prime minister Rishi Sunak who also visited Crawley this week before going on to visit Horsham.

Mr Cleverly spoke out about concerns people were voicing to him on the election trail saying that most were worried about the cost of living, border control and crime – including shoplifting and anti social behaviour.

“We’re bringing crime down,” he said, pointing out that 20,000 extra police officers had been recruited and another 8,000 are now also to be taken on.

"People need to feel safe in their homes and on the streets.” He said, adding that Katy Bourne had done ‘brilliant work in recruiting extra police officers in Sussex.’

He said he also recognised that drug smuggling was a problem with the close proximity of Gatwick Airport.

As far as general election opinion polls were concerned, he said that talking to people on the doorstep led him to believe that the polls predicting a big Labour win were not accurate.

"The polls tell me that everyone should be thinking about voting Labour. But I knock on the door and I really struggle to find people who are going to vote Labour. The opinion polls say one thing and the conversation on the doorstep says something different.”