Editor’s note: In last week’s Wokingham Paper, we carried a paid advert from Wokingham resident Clive Chafer outlining why he feels Wokingham parliamentary constituency voters should not back Sir John Redwood. Sir John has asked for right of reply, which we are happy to do so, and it is below:
The Wokingham Paper has published a hostile advert and a set of negative questions to me which deserve a reply.
They mainly relate to the way I have undertaken the job of MP, querying my engagement with the community and the effort I put in.
I regard the role of MP as a way of life and a commitment to public service, not just a job.
As MP I am on call seven days a week any hours if something serious happens in our local community. I receive many emails and replies to my website every day, and provide a seven day a week service responding to them.
I take up the local issues and cases as they arise, hold regular surgeries with appointment times you can rely on, and campaign on matters that local opinion and my judgement indicate are things where we can do better and can ask more of government.
I have run successful campaigns to increase the amount of money for local schools, to get financial help with road improvements, to get new schools and health facilities to cater for increasing demand, and to green our local area through a number of initiatives.
In Parliament I was one of the most active MPs, both in published contributions to the formal debates and in the informal meetings and discussions with Ministers and others
that characterise a normal Parliamentary day.
I have led campaigns to make prosperity not austerity the main aim of our economic policy, to recognise the pressures on social care and assist with more provision, to remove VAT from green products and female hygiene products, and to cut Stamp Duty on buying your own home amongst others.
Several of these have helped change government policy.
I believe in seeing for myself so I often travel around the area to see a problem I have been asked about.
I attend local concerts, meetings, conferences, art exhibitions, fairs and other events.
I visit schools and businesses when invited.
As a Borough resident I shop locally and experience the same local conditions as everyone else.
I am asked by critics to explain how I can say I represent all my Remain constituents on Brexit.
I stood for election last in 2017 on a clear platform of the UK implementing the results of the national referendum and leaving with either a good deal or with no deal.
The Labour party also offered a version of Brexit in that election, and between us we received 82% of the vote. I took my mandate from the General election, where Remain voters in Wokingham who wanted to reverse the referendum with a second referendum were 16% of those voting.
The referendum itself was the only occasion when it was not my job to represent my constituents, because we all had the same one vote to cast as we individually saw fit.
I have always argued that Brexit should be good for the UK economy. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is a lie. I must insist on the withdrawal of the false allegations based on an article I published in the Financial Times.
That article does not contain the word Brexit because it was not about Brexit.
It set out how the policies being pursued whilst we were still members of the EU were slowing our economy needlessly.
It was an accurate forecast.
I made clear again at the same time on my website I remained optimistic about our economic prospects on leaving the EU when we eventually do.
I have set out the budget and other policies that we need after leaving the EU to use the opportunities to improve our living standards and increase our growth rate.
I think I am the only former MP who provides a daily blog setting out my views on important issues and my actions on pursuing problems. I also set out shorter versions of my views on Facebook and Twitter.
I believe in being straightforward, explaining what I think and what I am trying to do. I also keep my word, voting and speaking as I have said I would in a General election. People will not always agree with my views or judgments, but they will know why I have made them and will know I will strive to keep my promises.
They should also know that the calls I make are made with the interests of the constituency in the forefront of mind.
As Conservative candidate I am standing for a better deal for Wokingham’s public services, and for an economic policy based on prosperity, I am the only candidate backing tax cuts for the many with more pathways to home ownership.
Voting Conservative is the only way to vote against ending up with Mr Corbyn in Downing Street, permitted by other parties. The other parties in this election aim to make you pay more tax and to prolong the Brexit uncertainty, damaging our economy which will hit the money available for public services.
Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU