North Thanet`s Tories select General Election Standard Bearer
March 17th 2013
North Thanet`s Conservatives have this weekend selected their candidate to fight the next General Election. At the Party`s Annual General Meeting, this year held in Herne Bay, party members voted unanimously to re-select their sitting MP, Sir Roger Gale, to carry the standard in 2015 – or earlier should an election be called.
Speaking following his re-selection Sir Roger, veteran of many successful campaigns, said:
“It is a huge honour to be chosen to once again represent my party. It is not a position that I have ever taken, or will ever take, for granted. My wife, Suzy, and I work as a team and we are hugely appreciative of the massive support that over the years we have received from staunch supporters within the party and from those who are not members but who continue to place their trust in us.”
Addressing the prospects at the next election North Thanet`s Member of Parliament said:
“ We have come through a very bruising and difficult three years. In order to address the economic dereliction left to us following thirteen years of Labour mis-management we have had to take some very unpalatable decisions and those have inevitably not been popular. At mid-terms like this there have always, in my long experience, been times when the electorate will gravitate towards a haven for disgruntled votes in order to make their unhappiness known to government. We cannot and must not ignore those sentiments but neither must we undo the hard work and the determination of our brief years in office by changing tack and squandering our efforts at the very moment when they are beginning to bring success.
Coalition has not been easy. We have, as a party, had to agree to compromises and policies that are not our natural choice and that has, inevitably, cost us some support. I believe, though, that David Cameron can justly claim, as Prime Minister, that on the big issues he has always sought to act in the long-term national interest.
The economy has been recognised, by the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, as being on the turn for the better. The stock market, a key indicator, is riding high and there are more people in work in the private, wealth-creating, sector than ever before. Major changes in our education system and in the health services are poised to deliver very positive results and immigration from non-EU countries has been cut by a third. We look forward to a re-negotiation of the terms of our membership of the European Union and, given the election of a majority Conservative Government at the next election, the cast-iron promise of an In-Out referendum following that election. (It would be an irony, would it not, if anti-European fringe parties were to deliver a Labour government that would then not hold the referendum?!)
I am personally pressing for the introduction of the legislation necessary to hold a referendum during the lifetime of this parliament and it is clear that, within the economic constraints that the Chancellor will face for some time, we have to find money to stimulate investment in infrastructure and housing. Placing our benefit system on a sounder and fairer footing – at present 20% of the tax paid by every working man and woman is spent on benefit – will help that process.
We have to be clear and single-minded. The country cannot afford another Labour Government, led by one of the Miliband brothers, or a Lib-Lab coalition with a left-wing Deputy Prime Minister. We fight the next election seeking an overall Conservative majority. We are “in it to win it”.”
Sir Roger also took the opportunity to thank his outgoing Chairman, the former Leader of Canterbury City Council, Jim Nock, and to welcome entrepreneur Rob Jones as the Constituency Party`s new Chairman..
“Jim has given huge public service in Local Government” said Sir Roger “and he has followed that with four years as the dedicated Chairman of the NTCA. I am delighted that he now takes over as the Association President and I am looking forward to working with Rob, and to continue to working with Jim, as together Team North Thanet takes us through the Kent County Council elections, the European Parliamentary elections and into the next General Election. There is a lot of hard work but some very exciting times ahead both for us locally and for our Country.”