General election race in Kingston 'will be on schools places' MP Edward Davey says (From Surrey Comet)
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General election race in Kingston 'will be on schools places' MP Edward Davey says
Parliamentary candidates Lee Godfrey (Labour) and James Berry (Conservative) exchange a joke at the election count
Kingston’s school place crisis will be top of the agenda in the campaign for next year’s general election.
Providing enough primary and secondary school space for Kingston families is “where the real focus must be”, Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey said this week.
But Mr Davey, who pledged loyalty to leader Nick Clegg, would not be drawn on whether he was worried about his own position, following poor results for the Lib Dems in local and European polls last week.
He added: “These were disappointing results, obviously, but I have never been complacent about the seat.
“That wouldn’t have changed if we had won the elections. I have always in my mind worked as if my majority was still just 56 [as it was when he was first elected in 1997].
“People have shown in the elections this year that there is a degree of hostility towards all the main political parties.”
Conservative parliamentary hopeful James Berry said: “One of the key building blocks for social mobility is having a first-class education system in the borough, where people can actually have choice in education and can expect those choices to be inside the borough.
“I’m going to do everything I can to support the development of schools, working with the council and the Department for Education, pressing it to do as much as it can to solve the real need for more school places.”
Labour’s candidate, Lee Godfrey, said: “I can’t see Ed Davey keeping his seat next May. Lib Dems will tell you that Labour just can’t win in Kingston – but we have shown that we can.
“This [the local election] was a staging post for us. We stand a real chance.”
Healthcare and education would be Labour’s priorities next year, he added.
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