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Labour candidate attacks Dover MP Charlie Elphicke over jobs

By Dover Express  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

  • FIGHTING TALK: Clair Hawkins has hit out at the Tories' record on jobs in Dover and Deal

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THE MP for Dover and Deal has exchanged blows with his "Punch and Judy" election rival – who criticised the Tories' record on jobs in the area.

Speaking at the Labour party conference in Manchester, Clair Hawkins argued it has been "bad news for jobs" while the constituency is under Conservative rule.

But Charlie Elphicke said he was hoping Miss Hawkins's speech would reveal why she "couldn't be bothered" to attend an anti-privatisation rally last month.

In her address to the conference on Monday, Miss Hawkins pointed to the closure of pits in the 80s, restructuring at the port in the 90s and the loss of thousands of jobs at nearby Pfizer as examples of the Conservatives failing on employment.

"We know Tory austerity isn't working – their priorities, their understanding, they're all wrong," she said.

"In the Dover district nine per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds are unemployed, a tragic waste of talent and potential."

The Labour candidate described the "many young people desperate to work" at Aylesham Skills Factory and argued it was "a disgrace" that Deal needed a food bank.

But Dover and Deal's Conservative MP, Charlie Elphicke, hit back.

He said Miss Hawkins reminds him of the constituency's former Labour MP, Gwyn Prosser – "long on rhetoric and very Punch and Judy".

He added: "I was hoping she would use her speech to explain why she couldn't be bothered to turn up at a union-organised rally to save our port.

"Maybe it was because Gordon Brown and the Labour Party put our port up for sale."

Miss Hawkins said: "I would have attended but I was away at a Co-op Party Conference.

"I spoke on two motions that we were putting forward and it wasn't possible for me to get down.

"My letter of support was read out at the rally and I fully support a united effort to prevent the privatisation of the port of Dover."

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  • kenwarnham  |  October 07 2012, 4:49AM

    Spaceman...maybe a lack of oxygen getting to your brain here Margate was one of a number of holiday destinations in the 60s-70s, there was no issue with transport then! My point was "lack of investment" by ALL Governments. BUT it has to be said Thanet has been true blue Conservative for longer that I wish to remember and I am certain too long for all the "still" unemployed to remember. I simply asked for any Conservative who has cornered this part of UK for years to "justify" their standing as MP's. That call is for "accountability" please no distractions about "other" matters although serious…allow me to simply point you to what the Conservatives are doing with our fine armed services now-, "cuts-cuts-and more cuts and which Chancellor is that?. If you think Thanet is being picked on try Folkestone, Dover, Sheerness, the list of Towns blighted in Kent goes on under Conservatives. Fact is It's not just our MP's {who do nicely} but the Conservative controlled KCC is also cut-cut cutting services to pensioners, the disabled, the sick, and the unemployed {local council tax to be targeted April 2013}. At the same time Conservative Mr Hill a KCC Councillor, a Local Councillor, and KPA chair {has three jobs} is earning over £65k and allowances all 3 part-part time jobs. I suggest Mr Hill won't go cold, hungry, this winter, or worry about bus passes, adding- {Paul Carter KCC leader Conservative gets driven around in a chauffeur car} so he can drink! Other Councillors use taxis, paid for by YOU. We might be better off in Space looking for new worlds because under Conservatism Thanet has become as barren as the moon, {and some could say run by "robber baron's"} if you rely upon history as a factor in understanding that current, and past position! Ken Little.

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  • A_Spaceman  |  October 06 2012, 10:01PM

    Using Thanet is a bit of a cheap shot. It's probably one of the furthest points of East Kent with bad travel links, like Cornwall or Aberdeen, but with a higher population. It's probably difficult to get a local job, or one within decent travel distance that is affordable. As for getting what we vote for. So true. Look what happened last time. A war that was based on lies and a deluded chancellor that thought he could be the first in history to break the well known cycle of boom and bust - an inevitable economical cycle that is taught in economics in every school.

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  • kenwarnham  |  October 06 2012, 10:00AM

    Don't just blame Charlie Elphicke MP for Dover for the lack of jobs in Kent, just look a little further to Thanet and you will see the worst "black spot" for unemployment in the UK, covered by another Conservative and now a Sir, Roger Gale, and who said you have to work hard to get rewarded? Its a little "rich" coming from Charlie Elphickle who said this about Clair, --"Maybe it was because Gordon Brown and the Labour Party put our port {Dover} up for sale." Let's look at history and see who sold off what in the UK, the conservatives sold off the Mines and miners in the UK, they sold British Telecom, most Social housing, British Leyland, British steel, most of the electricity companies, the Water companies, British Gas, Ship building, I will run out of space if I listed them all. Let's look at history and ask who holds power in Kent? Answer the Conservatives. I say you get exactly what you vote for and it's not good for-, the unemployed, those without homes, pensioners, the infirmed-needing social care, special needs or disabled people, students in poor run down schools, students who want to get improve their livelihoods, the list is endless. On the other hand we have Conservative MP sending their children to "private schools" sitting on boards of major companies like Pfizer {nice side earner whilst it lasted} There are other companies available for MP's to sit on {same arrangements}! MP earnings and allowances you and I can only dream of, jolly's on fact finding tours around the world and Charlie Elphickle {MP} is worried about what Clair Hawkins is not doing, what have you done lately Charlie, or any MP in Kent for that matter this page is available I am certain none of "you" Conservative MP's will make an appearance a little of what you accuse Clair of! Ken L.

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