As the 12 December General Election fast approaches, we're taking the opportunity to speak to the candidates for the Aylesbury constituency.
The seat has been held by Sir David Lidington of the Conservative party since April 1992. Mr Lidington recently announced that he would not be standing again.
Yesterday, this paper spoke to the Labour candidate for Aylesbury, Liz Hind.
Ms Hind, 42, was raised in Southend, Essex, and gained a PhD in the history and philosophy of Mathematics at the University of Liverpool. She went on to work for the British Science Association before moving to Aylesbury two and a half years ago to run The Old Millwrights Arms pub with her husband.
We asked Ms Hind why she decided to run for MP in Aylesbury. She explained:
“It's true what they say, people do talk to their landlady and people are sick to death of things like not being able to get hospital appointments, cuts to schools, cuts to children's centres. It's really hurt some of my customers, so I was asked to run as MP for Aylesbury and to stand up for people.”
“You need a local person to understand the cuts that have been made around here in order to fight them. You can see where I live - I live upstairs!”
Regarding HS2, which directly affects many people in the Aylesbury constituency, the Labour candidate said:
“We need an independent review. It's a project where the costs have completely spiralled out of control. We're seeing environmental degradation, dead trees, work continuing even though it's supposed to be suspended - it's appalling.”
Ms Hind continued:
“You've got to look at the amount of money being spent on that one project and ask is that the best place to spend it, which you can only do through a properly independent review which is what the Labour party has called for, and you've got to look at the environmental cost. It's failing on both those counts at the moment.”
Brexit has changed the way that many people plan to vote in the upcoming election, with party loyalties being upended and the issue of EU membership instead taking priority.
Regarding Labour's position, Liz Hind said:
“I think the Labour party has a very sensible position on Brexit which is actually very simple. We will negotiate the best deal we can which will protect workers rights and jobs. We will negotiate that within three months and then put that to the people for a second referendum within six months. As far as I know we're the only party to put a timetable on when we'll hold a second referendum. In order to move on from where we are we need to have that second referendum.”
On how she thinks Labour should campaign in a second referendum, she said:
“I voted Remain, I run a small business, I know how reliant my business is on getting things from the EU, so it would take a lot to convince me that leaving the EU is the best plan but we haven't had anyone go over to the EU to negotiate a reasonable deal.”
Ms Hind also said she wanted more investment in healthcare and education. On the former she said:
“We must ensure we put investment into hospitals to keep hospital wards open and also ensure mental health is given parity with that.”
Regarding education, she said:
“We need a national education service where you've not got that crater between secondary education and further education, or skills education if that's what you want, so it's all within one umbrella or one service."
On tuition fees, she added:
“Scrap the lot of them. They've done nobody any good. It's ridiculous. We need skilled people.”
Finally, we asked Ms Hind what she likes to do away from politics. She told us:
“I sing. I have a lovely singing teacher. I sing with choirs. We're studying Italian operas at the moment. And when I'm not singing I go to hip hop dance lessons. There's a company that runs classes all across Buckinghamshire called Urban Strides and I go to their classes. Big up for Urban Strides - they do amazing things for young people.”