The two men hoping to be Basildon’s next MPs have moved to fix the time and date for candidate debates in the lead up to the 2015 General Election.
Mike Le-Surf and Gavin Callaghan have written to local priest Fr Dominic Howarth to ask if he will act as moderator and facilitator of the debates across both constituencies in the weeks ahead.
The Conservative Party had previously instructed all candidates not to engage in hustings with their Labour counterparts, but with just 121 days until polls open, Labour candidates believe its time their Tory counterparts took to the stage.
Mike explained “We are now just over 100 days away from one of the biggest decisions that the people of Basildon will ever face. The future of their families, their homes, their jobs and their living standards are on the line at the ballot box in May. Stephen Metcalfe has refused my previous attempts to hold debates with him but I hope he will now face me at a hustings so we can offer the public a real choice. A choice between five more years of an MP that will continue to be missing in action on the major issues across the constituency or electing me to do the job of standing up for hard pressed working people who have been let down in recent years”.
Gavin added, “As we go into the final few months of the election there is no difference between the Tories and UKIP. You cannot separate them on domestic policy. They both believe in right-wing policies that protect the rich and make life harder for the rest. So if you care about the NHS, your kids’ education, the cost of your rail ticket and you don’t want to see VAT increased, then Labour is the only alternative at this election. I’m looking forward to making that case to the Basildon public at the hustings. I hope Mr Baron will find time in his diary to take me on”.