1) Tell us why it is you want to become an MP?
For me politics has always been interesting because there are so many issues and factors involved within it which makes it a great challenge and a great chance to make change in different and varied areas of life. At the end of the day it is about helping people and I feel that I am at the stage of my life where I am old enough and have enough life experience, energy and empathy to contribute something in a constructive and influential way.
I’m not from a wealthy or connected family and I have worked hard to do well in life which I then feel is my responsibility to give back to others so that I can help them achieve and better themselves like I did.
2) How do you think working a demanding job at Google has helped you prepare for a parliamentary campaign?
My work at Google really feeds into the whole giving back frame of mind that I have. Especially with regard to my interaction with the internet and global economic realities that I am aware and have experience of I can see that a gap exists in parliamentarians who don’t have crucial and first-hand knowledge of these area’s yet are in a position to legislate.
I want to bring first-hand knowledge and experience to the job to make substantial change and further the debate. Especially with regard to things like tax and travel which I feel I can bring crucial and much needed experience that is vital for the British economy. Things like the fact that a third of all new jobs created since 2010 are in the hospitality industry which most MP’s wouldn’t understand is probably the number one or two employer in their constituencies. Being able to champion travel and tourism and more broadly the internet will be useful and essential for future growth and prosperity.
Everything moves so quickly though so I shall have to do my best and everything I can to keep up with what is going on
3) What are the main issues closest to your heart? Local or national.
I’ve been working in business for the last twenty years so that is where my main focus will be which is relevant both nationally and locally. My constituency is mainly rural but there are numerous small and medium sized businesses here which get forgotten about because they are not huge companies or big brands.
The importance of sustaining small and medium sized businesses is pivotal to the economy overall so I will certainly be backing their corner! I’m also an advocate for the digital economy and I will do everything I can to champion that both locally and nationally to get broadband to rural areas to help improve their access to an essential utility in the modern economy of the country.
4) Has the surge in support for UKIP affected the way you talk about some issues or the way you run your campaign?
I don’t think it is a surge in support for UKIP specifically but more the issues that are being talked about, Immigration and Europe specifically. I would never underestimate the appeal of UKIP or disrespect a UKIP supporter but the reality is that the Conservative party is putting forward responsible and credible policies about these issues and UKIP can say what it likes but we’re the party who can actually deal with these issues and not UKIP.
Speaking to people on the door it’s my job to explain that if people want a referendum on Europe then they need to vote Conservative because else they will get a Labour government and get no action on it. In a sense they may shoot themselves in the foot with one of their top priorities by voting UKIP when we are the party addressing their issues and willing to take action on it.
Showing empathy and understanding is key because it allows us to talk properly about the issues and address it responsibly to key concerns that people have.
5) Would you support in principle a UKIP-Conservative coalition government?
I want a Conservative majority and I think that despite all the predictions I cannot imagine a deal struck where UKIP would want anything other than a complete withdrawal from Europe. The things they demand from a coalition agreement would I believe be impossible to come to an agreement on.
Plus I think they could or will hand a lot of seats to Labour if they do well and in all honesty I don’t think they will get the necessary numbers so I’m still hoping for a Conservative majority!
6) If you could make any law for one day what would it be?
I believe that government needs to be as large as it needs to be and as small as it possibly can be. So I would give more tax holiday’s to the British public I think.
7) You’re on a desert island, which party leader do you take with you?
Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland would be an entertaining and engaging companion to spend some time with I think. But there are lots of party leaders I would like to take and leave there I think and you can probably guess who they are!
Thanks to Mr Nigel Huddleston for agreeing to take part in the interview.
By Connor Smart, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.