South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary candidate Mike Le-Surf is more than happy to discuss the main issues of the day and challenges the Tories stance on immigration and the NHS.

“The Tories have set out their stall in highly uninspiring fashion as they finally get their General Election campaign underway. Under the banner of “A Britain living within its means” David Cameron has set out his main areas of focus in the coming months glaringly omitting to include immigration and our beloved NHS.

It is clear we have to balance the nation’s books after the global financial crisis and a Labour government will do this within the next parliament but to state “living within its means” as their highest aspiration, the Tories fall way short of what citizens should be able to expect from their national government.

Under Labour we can do much better that this.

The Tories may wish to avoid debate and discussion on NHS and immigration topics but the public, I’m sure, will disagree. The NHS and immigration are among the most discussed national topics that I and my campaign team are encountering every week on the doorsteps of Thurrock and Basildon alongside housing, living standards and employment. Labour are keen to talk about whatever is important to people’s lives and have strong policies to support the debate.

On the NHS, Labour will integrate Health and Social Care meaning that plans will be in place to relieve the horrific burden on our local hospital in Basildon by providing more GPs, nurses and care workers. Labour in government had a great record on the NHS and, although the Tories pledged otherwise before the last election, they have wasted £3billion on unnecessary reorganisation and made cuts to social care budgets that have left our NHS in crisis. Preventative and holistic care and support will means our most vulnerable citizens can stay at home to receive care when appropriate where the costs are lower and family and friends can share in that support.

On immigration, David Cameron has opened the door to EU uncertainty and possible exit by pandering to Ukip and their policies of hate, fear and division. A proposed Tory referendum on EU exit in 2017 is having a destabalising effect on our ties with Europe and has allowed the right wing, including Ukip now with two MPs thanks to Tory defections, to set the Conservative’s agenda.

Labour want to see stronger border controls and restrictions on out of work benefit payments as do many citizens of the UK but financially and culturally we benefit from immigration. Labour supports EU membership where as many British citizens live and work in other EU countries as those who come to live and work here. My team of Labour activists will be campaigning in Basildon and Thurrock alongside our local election candidates every week until the General Election talking about the cost of living crisis, energy bills, youth opportunities and many other topics. Get in touch and let’s make sure we continue the debate that the Tories don’t want to have.

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