At Westminster with new Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke

Earlier this month I went to Westminster to see Charlie Elphicke, the new MP for Dover and Deal, and talk a little about the challenges he faces in the coming months and years.

After grabbing a bite to eat at Portcullis House, where we bumped into my former Express colleague Phil Reilly, now plying his trade in the Lib Dem press office, we sat down on the terrace by the Thames to chat about the future.

Two issues loomed large, both of which were central to Charlie’s victorious election campaign: preventing the sale of the Port of Dover and delivering a new hospital for Dover.

Charlie, chain smoking furiously as we talked, did not deny it would be tough to deliver on the pledges made in the run up to the general election on May 6.

“I recognise how difficult this is, we have been sold so far down the river we are just feet from the waterfall and I’m paddling furiously,” he said, pondering the possible privatisation of the port.

“People will realise what a difficult hand I have to play. I looked people in the eye during the campaign and said it’s going to be difficult. However, I pledged to do my best and I’m going to follow through with that.”

As well as talking about the battles ahead in the constituency, I also tried to tease out any greater political ambitions, but Charlie refused to be drawn. Instead he simply outlined what he described as his own political vision.

“I want to build a Britain where people can soar on the wings of opportunity and realise their fullest potential,” he said. “My ambition is to deliver for our community, that we wake up one day to find a proper hospital and the port is safeguarded.”

The full interview, which appeared in the Dover Express on May 20, can be found here.

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One thought on “At Westminster with new Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke

  1. The Dover People’s Port Trust is launched | Rhys Griffiths

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