Labour's Lloyd sets out his stall as the battle for Kemptown begins

The Labour candidate for Brighton Kemptown mounted a robust defence of his party's manifesto on Thursday, just one day after it was leaked.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Lloyd Russell-Moyle with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

“Our manifesto takes us forward to the 2070s,” candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle said, in response to claims from some quarters that Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to renationalise several key industries represented a return to 1970s Britain.

“We’re not going to be doing this in an old fashioned, state top-heavy way. But you have a choice: either you become collaborative or you are aggressive and grind people down. You don’t waste time having arguments.”

The former chair of the Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party highlighted the long-running stand-off between Southern Rail and the government.

“Misery has been caused on the Brighton line,” he said.

Mr Russell-Moyle was concerned over local health services, pointing to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the South East Coast Ambulance Service trust falling into special measures.

He also criticised the withdrawal of £627,000 from BACA on Lewes Road, saying it amounted to the loss of 22 teachers.

“It’s as if the Tories are intent on decimating education,” he said.

He added the several nurseries in the seat are at risk of closure due to budgetary constraints.

As well as promising to halt the disintegration of the seafront he says is ‘crumbling away’, Mr Russell-Moyle vowed to end absolute poverty in Kemptown.

This comes as a group of rough sleepers have been camping in the vicinity of nearby St Peter’s Church for over a month in protest against allegedly punitive Public Space Protection Orders.

Mr Russell-Moyle said Labour wants to build a million houses, of which half would be council homes.

He said: “This isn’t about charity; it’s about giving people a chance to contribute to society. We are the party of self help.

“At the moment this country is in a state of terminal decline under a regime of palliative care.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle is the Labour candidate for Brighton Kemptown, which also includes Peacehaven.

He is standing against Conservative Simon Kirby who has held the seat for seven years - beating Labour by 690 votes in 2015.

Also standing is Emily Tester for the Liberal Democrats, and independent candidate Doktor Haze.

The Green Party candidate Davy Jones stood down, and UKIP is not fielding a candidate for the seat.