Steve Gee is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Epsom and Ewell seat at the upcoming General Election 2019 on December 12.

Mr Gee previously ran to be an MP in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections.

As with other candidates for the seat, the Comet spoke with Mr Gee about his views and policies on a range of topics about Epsom and Ewell and beyond.

Quotes from his responses are reproduced below.

On the best thing about Epsom and Ewell:

The amount of green space and the sense of community and belonging of the people who live here.

On chances of winning in Epsom and Ewell:

Well I think our chances are better than a few years ago certainly. When you look at the recent European elections that's the closest we've seen for some time. Ourselves and the Brexit party were almost neck and neck with around 7,500 votes each, and the Tories and Labour and everyone floundered a long way behind that. If people take the lead of the tactical voting websites and vote Liberal Democrat, where we've got a majority who want to Remain* then we have chance.

*Epsom and Ewell borough voted 52.1 per cent to Remain. There was no constituency poll here in the 2016 Referendum.

On the biggest problem facing Epsom and Ewell:

People in businesses and beyond want certainty over the future of Brexit. Being able for those businesses to plan a way forward is important. Boris Johnson's deal is not the answer to that because it will lead to trade talks and uncertainty for many years to come. Are we going to crash on No Deal? It's not going to go well. Beyond that it's the underfunding of the NHS, the lack of staff at hospitals, the lack of ability to create nurses. The other big challenge is housing and government housing targets and our ability to build them in Epsom and Ewell.

On Brexit and the Lib Dem proposal to revoke article 50:

It's a very logical position. What we have said is that if we get a majority and form a Liberal Democrat government we would revoke Article 50 — it would mean we would have won across the whole country and have a mandate to do that. I admit it's highly unlikely and if we don't have that our policy is to campaign for a second referendum and I don't think you can say it's anti-democratic to have more democracy. We've all learnt a huge amount over the last few years about what Brexit really means with the years of negotiations, what sort of trade deals we want, and I believe many people have changed their minds.

On Housing:

I think balancing the need for more housing with avoiding excessive development is a very difficult thing. Personally I think we need to build more houses but more specifically more affordable houses. Our policy is to build 300,000 homes a year, 100,000 of which will be affordable. That's what the experts seem to say is enough if you keep doing it for a number of years. What we're trying to do is introduce policies that would free local councils to build more social housing, use public land and brownfield sites more to allow that.

On the Climate Emergency:

We are living in a climate emergency. Our policies on tackling the emergency are nationwide and it's about what we do as a government. We think we did a lot of good things in the coalition, introducing solar energy subsidies, building windfarms and so on, and the Tories have since reversed a lot of that. Our plan to insulate more homes across the country will help individuals while promoting wind farms and electric vehicles. It's our first priority. We're as serious as Labour or the Greens at tackling it but we are more realistic in order to achieve those targets. We don't think the planet's going to die if we set a more realistic target that's few years later than what they propose.

On foodbanks:

It is a disgrace that in one of the most developed countries in the world we have this level of foodbank use and I do put it down to the lack of funding in so many areas. It's about the lack of investment and the continuation of austerity over the last few years. That's had a massive impact on this and on the NHS and education and so on. People who rely on Universal Credit for example are being forced to survive week by week and it's getting harder to live for many, despite working extremely hard. You have to deal with a huge range of issues like this that also includes housing and that will eventually impact foodbank use. It's not something you can change overnight.

On Universal Credit:

We need to make changes to make it a more bearable system. There's nothing wrong with the principle of simplifying benefits and helping users and people who distribute out in that way. The way it's been introduced clearly made it problematic with the rise in the use of foodbanks and so on. It should be a system that works for people not just for the government who get to save a bit more money.

On first question at PMQs if elected:

When are we going to revoke Article 50?

On personal favourites (Desert Island Scenario):

Book: Ken Clarke's autobiography

Film: The Sound of Music