Parliamentary candidates for South West Hertfordshire have said why you should vote for them.

Ahead of the General Election being held on December 12, candidates for South West Hertfordshire talked about themselves and why you should vote for them.

Here is what they had to say:

Ali Aklakul – Labour

Watford Observer:

Ali is from a working-class background and is a committed socialist who puts his values into action by volunteering with youth charities and the elderly. He has personal experience of the damaging effects of austerity as he became the family bread winner when his father died.

Ali had to leave school at 16 to support his family and has since then worked in the catering and distribution industries.

If elected Ali will work with vigour and integrity to represent all the residents of South West Herts, helping to transform our society to reflect the Labour values of social justice, fairness and equality of opportunity for all.

In these divisive and troubled times only the Labour party is offering a solution to Brexit which includes everyone. Jeremy Corbyn, following on from his previous positive talks with the EU, will negotiate a deal which protects worker’s rights, protects British industry and protects jobs.

The only way forward is to offer the British public a final vote to either accept the new, clearly defined deal or to remain in the EU. Remainers and Leavers alike will have the chance to make an informed decision. Every other major party offers a ‘one option’ outcome which will alienate the other side and prolong the uncertainty and division.

Labour commits to building the new homes needed to house the next generation. We will enforce the building by developers of affordable and social housing so that people are not priced out of the areas in which they were born. An extensive local building programme provides no guarantees of genuinely affordable housing. We don’t need more millionaires’ houses.

Labour will bring privatised rail services back into public ownership, reintegrating the rail system and ending the current lottery of poorly managed franchises. We will invest in local Green public transport to re-connect outlying communities and allow people to reduce the use of their cars.

Gagan Mohindra – Conservative

Watford Observer:

“I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for South West Hertfordshire. It truly is an honour.

I know that the past few years of politics have been frustrating. Last month, Parliament agreed on the Prime Minister's new Brexit deal. This deal will ensure that we leave the European Union in a smooth, organised manner whilst respecting the result of the 2016 referendum. However, opposition parties voted for more dither and delay creating further uncertainty.

The Conservative Party is dedicated to getting Brexit done in January. I hope that by electing a new Parliament, the deadlock will be broken so that a Conservative majority can get Brexit done. Only then can we move onto focusing on important national issues, such as providing 20,000 extra police for our streets, putting £33.9 billion extra funding into our NHS and increasing school funding per pupil. If I am elected as your Member of Parliament, I will ensure that South West Hertfordshire benefits from this additional funding so that all members of our community see a real improvement to their daily lives.

Beyond this, I will lobby for the rollout of super-fast broadband for all of our homes and business, support our high streets by encouraging business rate reform, and support appropriate developments which provide affordable, local homes for our families without ruining the character of our picturesque towns and villages.”

Sally Symington – Liberal Democrats

Watford Observer:

“In South West Herts the Liberal Democrats are posing the strongest challenge to this tired Tory government. We have run Three Rivers District Council for over 30 years and secured control of Berkhamsted and Tring councils in our landslide victories in the local elections this year. We have a strong base of support across the constituency that should be reflected at the national level.

Johnson has called the Christmas Election because he has failed to bring the UK a solution to the Brexit Crisis and left our country in disarray. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a new approach in Westminster: to Stop Brexit, tackle the Climate Emergency and build a fairer society.

Locally, I stand for implementing climate-conscious infrastructure investment; building more affordable houses; supporting small business growth; and securing funding for schools and healthcare provision.

Nationally, I want to make the positive case for Remain in Westminster: We need to remain in the EU to grow our economy, finance improved public services and end austerity. I pledge to fight against Johnson’s bad deal and to vote Remain in a People’s Vote.

The greatest challenges of today are global, and only the Liberal Democrats can offer voters an outward-looking plan for international negotiations to tackle climate change, human trafficking, the power of multinationals, global poverty and inequality.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats on December 12th is a vote for better politics and a fairer society.”

Tom Pashby – Green Party

Watford Observer:

“Voters in South West Hertfordshire face a difficult choice at this election. The toxicity of recent UK politics is enough to turn plenty of people away from the news and from engaging with the political process.

A decade of austerity followed by a divisive referendum on our relationship with Europe leaves plenty of us feeling like we don’t have anywhere to turn. Debate rages on about what used to be niche constitutional, and international relations matters.

I’m from Croxley and went to Rickmansworth school. I lived in the area for over 20 years. Last year my local campaigning helped residents in Rickmansworth take action on pollution and road safety.

South West Hertfordshire deserves an MP who will campaign for them on current local issues, such as inappropriate development and limited hospital services, but also someone who is focussed on ensuring a future for future generations. I studied environmental science at university and have worked in sustainable energy and climate-focused policy ever since. With Dacorum and Berkhamsted Councils both declaring a climate emergency this year, it’s important that the next MP of South West Hertfordshire takes this issue seriously.

My vision for South West Hertfordshire is to put us in the best possible position to tackle the climate emergency, to heal the wounds from a decade of austerity, to support a People’s Vote on the final Brexit agreement and to campaign for remain.

A vote for me and the Green Party is a vote for the future.”

David Gauke – Independent

Watford Observer:

“I’ve had the privilege of being the MP for South West Hertfordshire for 14 years and have lived in Chorleywood for nearly 18 years. I’ve worked hard on local issues, helping to establish two new secondary schools in the constituency, new investment for west Hertfordshire health services and I continue to campaign for improved transport links.

If re-elected, I will work to reinstate plans to extend the Metropolitan Line Extension to Watford and press the Department for Transport, London North Western and the Metropolitan Line to boost services.

This election has been called because of Brexit and our country has become polarised. I campaigned for Remain in 2016 but sought to implement the result.

But, despite the catchy slogan, it is not possible to simply ‘get Brexit done.’ Boris Johnson’s approach will lead to a no deal Brexit. So, I believe that the only way forward now is to offer the British people a choice in a confirmatory vote of either Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit or Remain. I will campaign for Remain.

I was expelled from the Conservative Party in Parliament because I voted to stop a dangerous no deal Brexit at the end of October.

I am now standing as an Independent. Opinion polls and bookmakers put me second, and the tactical voting websites recommend a vote for me as the only one who can beat Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit candidate in South West Hertfordshire.

I promise I will always put our community and the country first and fight for you in Parliament as I have done for 14 years.”