Today’s by-election matters hugely.
It is happening simply because I kept my word to you and resigned after the Government U-turned on Heathrow expansion.
It is our chance to tell the Government we will not accept their decision, and to send back to Parliament the person most likely to stop it. There is a reason why the anti-Heathrow campaign groups are backing my campaign despite having been assiduously apolitical for years. There’s a reason why the Heathrow villagers have been knocking on doors for me this week. And there is a reason why Heathrow have identified me as their main barrier. They all know I am the best bet we have for stopping a project that will impact our community enormously. And for Kingston residents, this is a bigger issue than most. An expanded Heathrow means at least two new flight paths right over your homes.
If I lose in this election, Heathrow will win.
Other parties have tried to make this by-election about other issues
I know that the Lib Dems have thrown their entire national party into persuading you that this is an EU referendum re-run. But that makes no sense. Nick Clegg himself has admitted Brexit must happen, and a 9th Lib Dem MP can’t change that. There is an issue about the kind of Brexit we want, and despite the nonsense propaganda you have received from LibDems in recent weeks, my record shows I have been a thoughtful and moderating influence throughout – as leading Remain campaigner Dr Tania Mathias MP explained (LINK).
This by-election is about who will champion our community
Your choice today will determine who represents our community for the next three or four years. You know that if you back me, you can count on me to fight for you, and to keep my word. That is not common in politics, and it is absolutely not something you can say about my Lib Dem opponent, who has fundamentally altered her positions on key issues in the course of this election, and who has no record or experience of standing up for our community.
You know that if I am returned, I will continue to stand up for our community, I will continue to be Parliament’s pre-eminent champion for the environment, and I will continue to hold Government to account where I believe they are making mistakes.
You returned me in 2015 with the biggest increase majority of any other MP in the country, on the back of my strong record of working for you and delivering for you. If you still believe I have been an effective and good MP, I urge you to give me your vote on Thursday.
The Lib Dems may be exaggerating when they predict a win, but this election will certainly be extremely close.
Best wishes and thank you,
PS – if you have not already seen it, I hope you enjoy this short film about the by-election. LINK