General Election 2024 set for July: Hastings, Rye, Battle and Bexhill politicians react to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement

Politicians and candidates in Hastings, Rye, Battle and Bexhill have given their reaction to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement that there will be a summer General Election.

The Prime Minister made the announcement yesterday evening (Wednesday, May 22) and said people will go to the polls on July 4.

Parliament will also be dissolved next week ahead of six weeks of campaigning by candidates.

Sally-Ann Hart, who is the current Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, said: “It has been a challenging, rewarding and amazing four and half years representing the people and businesses of beautiful Hastings and Rye.

“I have a strong record for standing up for local people and I am ready to fight this election. I have bust a gut and put my constituents first since I was elected and will continue to do so over the next six weeks - meeting as many of you as possible and putting our plan to you for the next few years.

“Our community deserves the best. I am fully invested in this area. I have lived, worked, and raised my family here for nearly three decades, so whatever the result, unlike some candidates, I will still be here - this is my home. Hastings and Rye needs a Member of Parliament who understands our needs and ambitions, our people and businesses, and who has a plan for schools, jobs, our environment, housing and health.”

Christine Bayliss, Labour candidate for Bexhill and Battle, said: “I'm delighted to be the Bexhill and Battle Labour parliamentary candidate. This is a vital election and we've been working towards it for five years.

“We desperately need change. After 14 years of Conservative government, people are feeling the effects of run-down public services, falling living standards and soaring poverty.

“As well as Labour’s national missions, such as tackling anti-social behaviour, securing our borders and delivering 6,500 more teachers, I have three main priorities for Bexhill and Battle. We need better public services, cleaner, cheaper energy, and more local jobs.

“Across the country, Labour’s incredible candidates are ready to form the next Government. I need your vote in Bexhill and Battle so that I can join them.”

Labour’s candidate for MP for Hastings and Rye, Helena Dollimore, said: “For months residents across our community have been telling me it’s time for a change. This election is the chance we have to end the sewage dumping scandal, make our streets safer and build an NHS fit for the future.

“Only Labour has a plan to give Britain its future back, and I look forward to taking that plan to every corner of Hastings and Rye - from the Four Courts to Fairlight, and from the West Hill to Winchelsea.”

Becky Jones, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bexhill and Battle, said: “For years our area has been taken for granted by an out-of-touch Conservative Government that has failed to get the basics right and lurched from crisis to crisis – now it’s time for a change.

“Local health services have been brought to their knees, people’s mortgages and rent have skyrocketed and water companies have been allowed to pump their filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches. All this by a Conservative government more interested in fighting between themselves than standing up for the country.”

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a fair deal. It’s a vote for a party that will stand up for our community and our health services.”

Becca Horn, Green party candidate for Hastings and Rye, said: “I am excited to hear the General Election has finally been called. This is a momentous opportunity for change across the country: Greens are looking to quadruple our MPs in Westminster: imagine four MPs working as hard as Caroline Lucas does.

“For the first time ever, the Green Party are set to stand a full slate of candidates, meaning everyone, everywhere will have the chance to vote Green. Here in Hastings, we’ve seen the Green wave strengthening through our recent local elections, where Greens took 38 per cent of the vote.

“Now I know many people might think a Green vote here is a wasted vote, but I would ask you to consider this: if you really want change, why would you not vote for it? Why vote for yet more of the same, or ‘same but different’?

“Imagine what a Green voice for Hastings and Rye could do: an independent voice who is free to speak up for what we really want for our town, as opposed to just another mouthpiece for their national party’s leader. On July 4, you have a choice. You can choose to send a message of rejection of our failed two-party system, and a message of hope for a new and brighter future. A future where the super-rich get taxed just one per cent to raise £50bn to do things like build truly affordable council homes, reverse the privatisation of our NHS, protect our natural environment and renationalise our water and rail services. These are all things many of you have told me that you want – so why wouldn’t you vote for it? It’s up to you to choose.”

Comments have been sought from other parties in both constituencies and will be added when we get them.

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