Aphra Brandreth is the Conservative candidate for the Kingston and Surbiton seat at the upcoming General Election 2019 on December 12.

Ms Brandreth is a Conservative Councillor on Richmond Council.

As with other candidates for the seat, the Comet spoke with Cllr Brandreth about her views and policies on a range of topics about Kingston and Surbiton and beyond.

Quotes from her responses are reproduced below.

Why are you standing to be an MP for Kingston and Surbiton?

Having grown up in South West London and having set up a business in Surbiton I believe that we are incredibly lucky to live in such a fantastic area. However, I know that if you want to make things better you have to get involved. I worry that after 20 years, our voice in parliament has become stale and that we need fresh representation to stand up for Chessington, New Malden, Tolworth, Kingston and Surbiton with vigour and passion.

What is your favourite thing about the constituency?

As someone with a passion for coffee, I never fail to be delighted by the local café’s and restaurants on our high streets. We’ve also got so many original and successful local businesses, run by talented, passionate and dedicated people. That is why I brought the Chancellor to visit some of my favourites, so he could talk to them about what a Conservative government can do to support small businesses to thrive.

What is the single most serious issue the constituency faces?

Caring for our elderly and a plan for adult social care. With people living longer and the challenges of dementia, caring for our elderly is something that I really want to focus on. The Conservatives are committing more funding to adult social care, and doubling research funding into dementia and setting up trials for new treatments.

How would you help balance the need for more houses with the desires of many residents to avoid excessive development?

I am committed to protecting our green spaces and making sure development is in keeping with the local area. Residents’ concerns must always be considered during planning discussions. For me it is important to consider the wider impacts of development including public transport, school places and GP appointment availability. We must ensure that these discussions are included in planning and that we have a joined-up approach.

What would you do to combat hunger and the rising use of foodbanks?

Looking after those who are most in need is fundamental and I have visited several foodbanks locally to listen to those who are both using and volunteering. There are 400,000 fewer people in absolute poverty now than in 2010 but we must do more and the Conservatives have pledged to increase the living wage and help people on low incomes with the cost of living. We must ensure that everybody is looked after because how we treat our most vulnerable is a reflection of us all.

How can we best tackle the climate emergency at the constituency level?

This Conservative Government has pledged to be Net Zero by 2050, and achieving that means that we need to incorporate climate thinking into all our policies and actions. We need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, which involve bold initiatives to enable our cars and houses to be as environmentally friendly as possible. One of my major personal goals is to plant more trees across our borough. I have already had conversations with local schools about tree planting initiatives and have held discussions with Chessington World of Adventures about planting more trees along the Leatherhead road.

What one thing would you most like to see change in your own party? (Independents: Where is your campaign’s biggest area for improvement?)

I would like to change the reputation of our party on social issues. Too often we are labelled as socially conservative, despite passing important legislation including the marriage equality act and recently introducing important legislation to protect women against upskirting and FGM.

How would you work to improve education in Kingston and Surbiton?

Education is a core Conservative value and I’m determined to work with our local school to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. We need to ensure there is choice, sufficient school places and we will be putting more funding into special educational needs including a new SEN school in Chessington.

How would Brexit impact residents the constituency?

We need certainty and to come together as a community. We need to respect the outcome of the referendum and put our energy into building strong communities, maintaining our close European ties and embrace the new opportunities from around the world.

If returned as an MP, what will your first question be at PMQs?

This constituency is so important nationally because there has never been a Conservative majority without a Conservative MP here in Kingston and Surbiton. I would therefore congratulate the PM on their success at the election and my first question would be to ask the PM to assure me and my constituents that we will receive our fair share of the 20,000 new police officers.

What is your favourite (Desert Island scenario):


I love reading and my favourite is The Rover (Aphra Behn), who I was named after.


Because it’s Christmas...my favourite film is Love Actually


Kylie Minogue