Kingston Conservative election candidate: 'Listening to residents is more important than where you live' (From Surrey Comet)
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Kingston Conservative election candidate: 'Listening to residents is more important than where you live'
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.”
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