On Thursday this week the future Prime Minister of the UK will be spending time on the Isle of Wight, as candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, attend an event.
According to the Isle of Wight MP, the Island is the first constituency in the UK to host a dedicated event for both the candidates in their quest to be the next Prime Minister. Paid up members of the Island Conservatives have been invited to purchase £15 tickets for the event at a secret location.
Labour: “Little people should have no opportunity of choosing next Prime Minister”
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, told OnTheWight,
“The fact that the location and time of this meeting is being kept hidden from ordinary Islanders is symbolic of how the Tories have gone about this whole circus.
“The only thing their ragtag band of candidates has agreed on since the start of this sorry process, is that the little people should have no opportunity at all of choosing their next Prime Minister.
“Instead, the Tories once again treat the country as some sort of unwanted captive audience, rather than citizens with democratic rights.”
Pugh: All standard practice
David Pugh, Chairman of the Island Conservatives, told OnTheWight,
“It is standard practice for Conservative Party members to be charged to attend political and social functions, particularly where there are catering and other costs involved. This event is no different.
“It is not unusual for the location of such high-profile events to not to be disclosed until just beforehand to those who have registered and been accepted to attend.
“The same approach is being taken with the hustings events on the mainland, as arranged by the Conservative Party nationally. This is an internal Conservative Party event, so there is no need for the location to be disclosed more widely. Membership of the Conservative Party is open to anyone who shares our values.”
LibDem: “Support the chance for a few Islanders to ask such questions”
Anni Adams, Vice-Chair Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats, told OnTheWight,
“I and the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrat’s are against all forms of domestic violence. Recent stories about Boris Johnson emphasises the importance of this issue and of supporting affected families.
“The upcoming Island visit from potential leaders of the Conservative party to speak to their members has invoked strong opinions and divisions, particularly on the appropriate behaviour and credentials of a future PM.”
She went on to add,
“We believe that potential leaders of a political party must be held accountable, and allowed the opportunity to answer questions from party members. We support the chance for a few Islanders to ask such questions.
“We would also welcome the opportunity for all Islanders to address the next Prime Minister on how they would support the Island and ask them to address problems we face locally.
“Our Liberal values and approaches are very different to the contenders but we believe in the democratic right of their party members to vote for a new leader. We also support the right of any Islander to object to the presence of either contender, whether supporting the rights of domestic abuse victims, or against the ability and approach of either of them which we believe would have a destructive influence on our economy and country.”
Green: “Symptomatic of contempt Conservative Party holds for wider public”
Isle of Wight Green Party’s parliamentary candidate, Vix Lowthion, told OnTheWight,
“Our country is in crisis, we have been given only six months by the EU to solve the Brexit impasse – and yet our dreadful government are utterly wasting the precious time we have to move forward. They are looking inwards and discussing only amongst themselves – whilst the clock is ticking.
“This visit of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to speak with fifty Party members on the Island is symptomatic of the complete contempt the Conservative Party holds for the wider public. One of these men will be our Prime Minister – and so they should be prepared to speak with and hear the views of all the residents of the island, not just a narrow clique.
“In a week where a Conservative minister man-handled a female climate campaigner, and the police were called to by concerned neighbours to the residence of another, Boris Johnson has failed to properly address journalists’ questions about his character and fitness to lead. If neither the press nor closed meetings are able to thoroughly scrutinise our future leader, then I completely understand why a group of Islanders feel they need to gather on Thursday to vocalise their concerns.
“One of these men will be our Prime Minister too.”
Seely: Island first to host both candidates
Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, said of the visit,
“I’m delighted that both Boris and Jeremy are visiting the Island this Thursday.
“One of the things that I promised when Islanders elected me as their Member of Parliament was that I would make sure that the Island had a higher profile in Whitehall and that Islanders would be listened to by our national leaders.
“The Island is the first constituency in the UK to host a dedicated event for both the candidates in their quest to be the next Prime Minister.”
Activists say they will protest at the arrival of Boris Johnson on the Island, in protest at the way allegations of domestic abuse have been handled.