Kingston Conservative election candidate: 'Listening to residents is more important than where you live'

Surrey Comet: James Berry James Berry

The Conservative Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Kingston and Surbiton has said voters should not be put off by the fact he does not live in the borough.

James Berry will challenge MP Edward Davey for his constituency seat next year, hoping to bring an end to the Liberal Democrat’s 17-year parliamentary career.

And the 30-year-old, who lives with his wife Nehali in Victoria, central London, said he believed his ability to listen to residents' issues was more important than where he called home.

Mr Berry said: “I’ve been to Kingston many times but I’m not claiming to be a local candidate.

“There are lots of candidates being picked who aren’t from the area they’re standing in, but I think it’s a question of being able to listen to residents and stand up for them.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of Kingston Conservative members and I have seen in your own newspaper there is going to be 1,000 extra school places needed and that is certainly a massive concern to me.

“I also want to make sure Kingston and Surbiton is a clean and safe place to live. It normally is safe but there are crime hotspots like in Kingston town centre and we can’t be fooled by the statistics that say otherwise.”

The Harvard Law School graduate said his vast experience in dealing with complex medical lawsuits, often involving children and vulnerable adults, would help him understand the needs of constituents.

He said of his work: “You have to sit down with people at the most difficult time in their lives, understand their issues and then represent them in court.

“I think it is that which will help me really help me in my quest to understand the issues of residents and represent them in Parliament, if they will let me.”

Comments (14)

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8:15am Fri 20 Dec 13

SurboTurbo says...

It's not just Kingston residents who haven't heard of this blow-in.

On the conservativehome.com website , Conservative grassroots activists are asking just what has this James Berry ever done, not only for Kingston, but the Conservatives themselves.

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Conservative Home member "Raddy" posted:

<
A genuine question!

Are there any criteria for getting onto the Conservative party candidates list.

From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know.

>

------

Conservative Home Activist Gunnerbear posted:

<
He’s a barrister who specialises in healthcare and police issues,......." How can that be described a social engagement....he's doing a job. You could make the same claims of a road mender due to the fact that he or she is keeping the roads safe for the public.

"He’s a school governor....." Fair comment but hardly revolutionary....

"his parents were in the teaching trade." Lost me entirely in terms of 'social engagement'. If his parents were bankers would the opposite be true?

Mind you since he is a barrister, one presumes that the PPC will not have to hammer his expenses.......or maybe not....

>

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The question from the Conservative Home member regarding the £7000 donation is certainly worth exploring. It certainly wouldn't look good if large donations could be seen as having a bearing on selection for any party.

To eliminate any doubt, Mr Berry should clarify whether he has any connection to the £7000 donor that the Conservative Home poster highlights. If this Mr Berry has no connection to this alleged donation, then that would clear things up. If he is the donor, it just wouldn't look good, would it James?
It's not just Kingston residents who haven't heard of this blow-in. On the conservativehome.com website [ http://goo.gl/lPKZaf ] , Conservative grassroots activists are asking just what has this James Berry ever done, not only for Kingston, but the Conservatives themselves. ----- Conservative Home member "Raddy" posted: < A genuine question! Are there any criteria for getting onto the Conservative party candidates list. From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know. > ------ Conservative Home Activist Gunnerbear posted: < He’s a barrister who specialises in healthcare and police issues,......." How can that be described a social engagement....he's doing a job. You could make the same claims of a road mender due to the fact that he or she is keeping the roads safe for the public. "He’s a school governor....." Fair comment but hardly revolutionary.... "his parents were in the teaching trade." Lost me entirely in terms of 'social engagement'. If his parents were bankers would the opposite be true? Mind you since he is a barrister, one presumes that the PPC will not have to hammer his expenses.......or maybe not.... > -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------- The question from the Conservative Home member regarding the £7000 donation is certainly worth exploring. It certainly wouldn't look good if large donations could be seen as having a bearing on selection for any party. To eliminate any doubt, Mr Berry should clarify whether he has any connection to the £7000 donor that the Conservative Home poster highlights. If this Mr Berry has no connection to this alleged donation, then that would clear things up. If he is the donor, it just wouldn't look good, would it James? SurboTurbo

9:49am Fri 20 Dec 13

Happy59 says...

It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.
It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee. Happy59

10:17am Fri 20 Dec 13

dugongs2 says...

Happy59 wrote:
It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.
Davey was born and raised in Nottingham so hardly any better than this young tory. Another plant from central office seeking power at the expense of local people.
[quote][p][bold]Happy59[/bold] wrote: It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.[/p][/quote]Davey was born and raised in Nottingham so hardly any better than this young tory. Another plant from central office seeking power at the expense of local people. dugongs2

11:54am Fri 20 Dec 13

marina68 says...

This candidate does seem to be poor putting it mildly. It wouldn't surprise me if he's some type of stalking horse and the Tories drop him at the last minute for somebody else.

Lots of questions about just how this unknown, with no track record, managed to get this candidacy. In the Conservatives, it still appears it's who you are, your "connections" and not how hard you've worked that counts. Still the party of privilege. Not for ordinary people.

This outsider doesn't live here, in contrast to Ed Davey who was a resident before he got elected. The fact that Ed Davey is bringing up a family here means he has a huge advantage, especially given his strong track record on local delivery.

For this candidate to lead with school places is suicidal considering all the new school places the Lib Dems have supported. If James Berry had simply picked up a phone and talked to local Conservatives, rather than just reading the local paper, he'd have known that the Lib Dems would blow them out of the water on school places. He obviously hasn't a clue about local politics down here.

How can the Tories compete on school places when they've opposed so many school extensions, and Ed Davey was pivotal in originally raising the school place shortage, and got so much money to build new schools and extensions. Meanwhile, local Tories played the nimby card and failed to support hundreds of new school places. Stupid move by James Berry - he's obviously getting duff advice.

In fact, this candidate appears so weak, I wonder whether he's just been put in as a stalking horse, and the real candidate will replace at some point over the last year.
This candidate does seem to be poor putting it mildly. It wouldn't surprise me if he's some type of stalking horse and the Tories drop him at the last minute for somebody else. Lots of questions about just how this unknown, with no track record, managed to get this candidacy. In the Conservatives, it still appears it's who you are, your "connections" and not how hard you've worked that counts. Still the party of privilege. Not for ordinary people. This outsider doesn't live here, in contrast to Ed Davey who was a resident before he got elected. The fact that Ed Davey is bringing up a family here means he has a huge advantage, especially given his strong track record on local delivery. For this candidate to lead with school places is suicidal considering all the new school places the Lib Dems have supported. If James Berry had simply picked up a phone and talked to local Conservatives, rather than just reading the local paper, he'd have known that the Lib Dems would blow them out of the water on school places. He obviously hasn't a clue about local politics down here. How can the Tories compete on school places when they've opposed so many school extensions, and Ed Davey was pivotal in originally raising the school place shortage, and got so much money to build new schools and extensions. Meanwhile, local Tories played the nimby card and failed to support hundreds of new school places. Stupid move by James Berry - he's obviously getting duff advice. In fact, this candidate appears so weak, I wonder whether he's just been put in as a stalking horse, and the real candidate will replace at some point over the last year. marina68

12:31pm Fri 20 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

Happy59 wrote:
It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.
Agree. It's important that we can rub shoulders with our parliamentary representative in the Surbiton branch of Waitrose. Just like the current incumbent.
[quote][p][bold]Happy59[/bold] wrote: It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.[/p][/quote]Agree. It's important that we can rub shoulders with our parliamentary representative in the Surbiton branch of Waitrose. Just like the current incumbent. kingstonpaul

12:51pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Beverly RA says...

Ed Davey never lived in Kingston Before he was elected I recall he come from Nottingham, His wife stood as a candidate in Devon whilst living in London. So why the Fuss ?
Ed Davey never lived in Kingston Before he was elected I recall he come from Nottingham, His wife stood as a candidate in Devon whilst living in London. So why the Fuss ? Beverly RA

12:56pm Fri 20 Dec 13

berrybabe says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
Happy59 wrote:
It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.
Agree. It's important that we can rub shoulders with our parliamentary representative in the Surbiton branch of Waitrose. Just like the current incumbent.
Agreed,

I met Ed Davey out and about loads in Surbiton, and on the commuter train home as well. He was squeezed in like the rest of us. He was one of those faces you think you recognise, but not sure from where. When I saw him on the tv I twigged who it was. That's what good mps should be doing, living among us, not some outsider who is obviously getting a favour from somebody somewhere in the conservationive party.

I think it's important that anybody looking to represent us should live amongst us, to get a real feel of what life is like here. I just don't think voters will like some posh blow in who only knows about Kingston from what he reads in a copy of the Kingston paper. I wonder did he even go to Kingston to get the local paper, or did he get it delivered to Mayfair or wherever he lives
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Happy59[/bold] wrote: It may not be important to him that he lives in a borough he hopes to represent in Parliament but it is to the residents of that borough. Ed Davey must be rubbing his hands in glee.[/p][/quote]Agree. It's important that we can rub shoulders with our parliamentary representative in the Surbiton branch of Waitrose. Just like the current incumbent.[/p][/quote]Agreed, I met Ed Davey out and about loads in Surbiton, and on the commuter train home as well. He was squeezed in like the rest of us. He was one of those faces you think you recognise, but not sure from where. When I saw him on the tv I twigged who it was. That's what good mps should be doing, living among us, not some outsider who is obviously getting a favour from somebody somewhere in the conservationive party. I think it's important that anybody looking to represent us should live amongst us, to get a real feel of what life is like here. I just don't think voters will like some posh blow in who only knows about Kingston from what he reads in a copy of the Kingston paper. I wonder did he even go to Kingston to get the local paper, or did he get it delivered to Mayfair or wherever he lives berrybabe

2:05pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Tony from Surbiton says...

Oh my word, the LibDem keyboard warriors have have been quick to stir up trouble with this one. You are even voting down a comment that simply makes the point that Ed Davey wasn't local either.

Of course, anyone can write a comment under an assumed name - as I am doing - or write a comment for a hidden reason. That doesn't mean much. I could easily set up several accounts and rave about James Berry or Ed Davey, but quite frankly I can't be bothered. I happen to know that James Berry has lots of campaigning experience and has done lots of good things for people. I'm sure most normal (non-political) people in Kingston & Surbiton will vote either as they always do or on how well the candidates have performed in the period of time up until the next general election. Maybe Mr Berry will win lots of people over with his work, or maybe he won't - we'll not know for some time yet, so let's wait and see.

That deals with what Mr Berry might or might not do in the future. What he hasn't done though is run the Postal Service and increase the price of stamps to a ridiculous amount. Neither has he been in charge of the power and hiked up the cost of electricity and gas bills to exorbitant amounts. He hasn't promised student voters one thing and done another. He hasn't promised a referendum on the EU and gone back on his word. Oh, and he hasn't been involved in questionable expense claims and given taxpayer's money to the Liberal Democrat party to use for political gain.
Oh my word, the LibDem keyboard warriors have have been quick to stir up trouble with this one. You are even voting down a comment that simply makes the point that Ed Davey wasn't local either. Of course, anyone can write a comment under an assumed name - as I am doing - or write a comment for a hidden reason. That doesn't mean much. I could easily set up several accounts and rave about James Berry or Ed Davey, but quite frankly I can't be bothered. I happen to know that James Berry has lots of campaigning experience and has done lots of good things for people. I'm sure most normal (non-political) people in Kingston & Surbiton will vote either as they always do or on how well the candidates have performed in the period of time up until the next general election. Maybe Mr Berry will win lots of people over with his work, or maybe he won't - we'll not know for some time yet, so let's wait and see. That deals with what Mr Berry might or might not do in the future. What he hasn't done though is run the Postal Service and increase the price of stamps to a ridiculous amount. Neither has he been in charge of the power and hiked up the cost of electricity and gas bills to exorbitant amounts. He hasn't promised student voters one thing and done another. He hasn't promised a referendum on the EU and gone back on his word. Oh, and he hasn't been involved in questionable expense claims and given taxpayer's money to the Liberal Democrat party to use for political gain. Tony from Surbiton

2:11pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Ricademus says...

We wanna get rid of Davey, he promises things and never delivers, the conservatives are just the same, they are for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, always have and always will. We need a candidate that will listen and do things for the residents of Kingston and Surbiton, plus all surrounding areas and ain't just all talk, there isn't a single candidate in the local area that will do that, shame really.
We wanna get rid of Davey, he promises things and never delivers, the conservatives are just the same, they are for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, always have and always will. We need a candidate that will listen and do things for the residents of Kingston and Surbiton, plus all surrounding areas and ain't just all talk, there isn't a single candidate in the local area that will do that, shame really. Ricademus

2:53pm Fri 20 Dec 13

SurboTurbo says...

@Tony From Surbiton

the criticism of Mr Berry being parachuted into our constituency without ever having done anything is coming from Conservative activists themselves:

Conservative Home member "Raddy" posted the following:

From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know.


You have to admit that's pretty explosive stuff. I'd say potentially fatal to his chances.

We can judge Ed Davey on his record of working for us, but nobody, not even Conservative activists, can even find a record anywhere of what this James Berry has ever delivered for constituents anywhere.

James Berry has apparently decided to lead his campaign with providing new school places. I think the Lib Dems and Ed Davey's record on providing local school places totally trounces what James & his Tories have done. Or rather, failed to support.

When Ed Davey was fighting to get an emergency debate at Westminster that led to Ed Balls doing U-turn and granting £200Million for desperately needed new school places for our children, what was James Berry doing?
When local Conservatives failed to support many new schools and school extensions, what was James Berry doing?
@Tony From Surbiton the criticism of Mr Berry being parachuted into our constituency without ever having done anything is coming from Conservative activists themselves: Conservative Home member "Raddy" posted the following: From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know. You have to admit that's pretty explosive stuff. I'd say potentially fatal to his chances. We can judge Ed Davey on his record of working for us, but nobody, not even Conservative activists, can even find a record anywhere of what this James Berry has ever delivered for constituents anywhere. James Berry has apparently decided to lead his campaign with providing new school places. I think the Lib Dems and Ed Davey's record on providing local school places totally trounces what James & his Tories have done. Or rather, failed to support. When Ed Davey was fighting to get an emergency debate at Westminster that led to Ed Balls doing U-turn and granting £200Million for desperately needed new school places for our children, what was James Berry doing? When local Conservatives failed to support many new schools and school extensions, what was James Berry doing? SurboTurbo

3:12pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Tony from Surbiton says...

SurboTurbo wrote:
@Tony From Surbiton

the criticism of Mr Berry being parachuted into our constituency without ever having done anything is coming from Conservative activists themselves:

Conservative Home member &quot;Raddy" posted the following:

From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know.


You have to admit that's pretty explosive stuff. I'd say potentially fatal to his chances.

We can judge Ed Davey on his record of working for us, but nobody, not even Conservative activists, can even find a record anywhere of what this James Berry has ever delivered for constituents anywhere.

James Berry has apparently decided to lead his campaign with providing new school places. I think the Lib Dems and Ed Davey's record on providing local school places totally trounces what James &amp; his Tories have done. Or rather, failed to support.

When Ed Davey was fighting to get an emergency debate at Westminster that led to Ed Balls doing U-turn and granting £200Million for desperately needed new school places for our children, what was James Berry doing?
When local Conservatives failed to support many new schools and school extensions, what was James Berry doing?
As I mentioned anyone can post on any online forum, whether they be UKIP or LibDems. It's obvious by many of the comments on Conservative Home that this happens all of the time. I'll post derogatory comments about Ed Davey on LibDem Voice if you want?. As I said the local activists were presented with his record of action and they voted for him to be their parliamentary candidate. I dare say they looked at the facts of his record rather than slagging him off without any knowledge at all.

The LibDem record on school places is of course laughable. They ignored the warning signs and were amazed when suddenly parents started complaining that they couldn't get their children into local school and didn't have a choice. Many children had to go to schools that were far way or were not their first choice. many kids had to go to school in poor quality temporary accommodation and over-full schools. All because the LibDems ignored the obvious warnings until it was too late. It would seem an obvious thing to campaign on.

As you seem intent on ignoring my earlier points about Ed Davey coming from Nottingham and waiting to see what Mr Berry does in the coming year or so. I will also repeat some of my earlier post that hasn't been responded to :

What he (Mr Berry) hasn't done though is run the Postal Service and increase the price of stamps to a ridiculous amount. Neither has he been in charge of the power and hiked up the cost of electricity and gas bills to exorbitant amounts. He hasn't promised student voters one thing and done another. He hasn't promised a referendum on the EU and gone back on his word. Oh, and he hasn't been involved in questionable expense claims and given taxpayer's money to the Liberal Democrat party to use for political gain.
[quote][p][bold]SurboTurbo[/bold] wrote: @Tony From Surbiton the criticism of Mr Berry being parachuted into our constituency without ever having done anything is coming from Conservative activists themselves: Conservative Home member "Raddy" posted the following: From what I can see James Berry has not been active in the voluntary party, has not been a councillor , and the only possible link I can find is that a James Berry gave a near £7000 donation to the party a few years ago, just after this James Berry was called to the Bar. I am assuming it is him but don't really know. You have to admit that's pretty explosive stuff. I'd say potentially fatal to his chances. We can judge Ed Davey on his record of working for us, but nobody, not even Conservative activists, can even find a record anywhere of what this James Berry has ever delivered for constituents anywhere. James Berry has apparently decided to lead his campaign with providing new school places. I think the Lib Dems and Ed Davey's record on providing local school places totally trounces what James & his Tories have done. Or rather, failed to support. When Ed Davey was fighting to get an emergency debate at Westminster that led to Ed Balls doing U-turn and granting £200Million for desperately needed new school places for our children, what was James Berry doing? When local Conservatives failed to support many new schools and school extensions, what was James Berry doing?[/p][/quote]As I mentioned anyone can post on any online forum, whether they be UKIP or LibDems. It's obvious by many of the comments on Conservative Home that this happens all of the time. I'll post derogatory comments about Ed Davey on LibDem Voice if you want?. As I said the local activists were presented with his record of action and they voted for him to be their parliamentary candidate. I dare say they looked at the facts of his record rather than slagging him off without any knowledge at all. The LibDem record on school places is of course laughable. They ignored the warning signs and were amazed when suddenly parents started complaining that they couldn't get their children into local school and didn't have a choice. Many children had to go to schools that were far way or were not their first choice. many kids had to go to school in poor quality temporary accommodation and over-full schools. All because the LibDems ignored the obvious warnings until it was too late. It would seem an obvious thing to campaign on. As you seem intent on ignoring my earlier points about Ed Davey coming from Nottingham and waiting to see what Mr Berry does in the coming year or so. I will also repeat some of my earlier post that hasn't been responded to : What he (Mr Berry) hasn't done though is run the Postal Service and increase the price of stamps to a ridiculous amount. Neither has he been in charge of the power and hiked up the cost of electricity and gas bills to exorbitant amounts. He hasn't promised student voters one thing and done another. He hasn't promised a referendum on the EU and gone back on his word. Oh, and he hasn't been involved in questionable expense claims and given taxpayer's money to the Liberal Democrat party to use for political gain. Tony from Surbiton

6:18pm Fri 20 Dec 13

DB says...

Funny how Capt_Shamrock has stopped posting on these political stories at the same time that SurboTurbo starts commenting in exactly the same style!
Funny how Capt_Shamrock has stopped posting on these political stories at the same time that SurboTurbo starts commenting in exactly the same style! DB

6:53pm Fri 20 Dec 13

concernedofkingston says...

I had hoped that as we learned more about what Mr Berry stood for that we might find some things of real relevance to local voters but so far I'm lessed than impressed. That's not to say that I'm particularly happy with Mr. Davey either. May be we'll get a decent independent or UKIP candidate standing because I sense it's time for a change - we just seem to stagnate year upon year in both local and national politics.
I had hoped that as we learned more about what Mr Berry stood for that we might find some things of real relevance to local voters but so far I'm lessed than impressed. That's not to say that I'm particularly happy with Mr. Davey either. May be we'll get a decent independent or UKIP candidate standing because I sense it's time for a change - we just seem to stagnate year upon year in both local and national politics. concernedofkingston

9:10am Sat 21 Dec 13

JPR says...

Farcical.
They never hear.
Lies and more lies.
Like Davey.
Let's give a try to UKIP.
Farcical. They never hear. Lies and more lies. Like Davey. Let's give a try to UKIP. JPR

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