Tomorrow, we get to decide who will be our next MP and thereby have our say on who will govern our country.
I believe Croydon desperately needs a change of government. Labour have done some good things over the last 13 years but they are worn out, divided and in several key areas their policies are wrong for Croydon.
We need a government that will tackle crime. David Cameron has pledged to cut police paperwork so that we have more officers on our streets, make sure people actually serve the minimum sentence that they are given and reform our prisons so that fewer convicts re-offend.
We need a government that will support our local NHS (Labour are planning to downgrade Mayday, making St George’s in Tooting the main hospital for south west London). Andrew Lansley, who will be responsible for the NHS if the Conservatives win tomorrow, visited Mayday at my invitation on 24th April and made it clear that a Conservative Government would scrap these plans. He also said that he would like to see a hyper-acute stroke unit at Mayday, which would be great news for stroke victims in Croydon (who currently have to be taken all the way to Tooting) because it means they will get the treatment they need much quicker, increasing their prospects of making a complete recovery.
And we need a government that will get immigration under control. David Cameron has pledged to reduce immigration from hundreds of thousands a year at present to tens of thousands a year and remove those who should not be here.
Locally, Andrew Pelling has been a good local MP but as an independent he has no chance of winning. Don't take my word for it - I am slightly biased after all! Look at the bookies' odds (William Hill have Andrew as a 16/1 outsider in a two-horse race between me and the Labour candidate) or the poster display around town or listen to The Croydon Advertiser, which has said “one thing nobody with any modicum of political knowledge is saying is that Andrew has any real chance of winning”. Voting for Andrew – or indeed one of the other parties - will simply split the anti-Labour vote, potentially leading to the election of a Labour MP and five more years of Gordon Brown.
During the campaign, I’ve set out what kind of MP I would be if you give me your support.
I would be completely open about what I am doing and claiming, publishing my diary and my expense claims plus the supporting receipts.
I wouldn’t have a second home – I would commute to Westminster just like everyone else who works in central London.
I wouldn’t employ any family members.
I would be accessible, with an office in the constituency and a weekly surgery.
I would keep in touch by regularly sending out surveys, leaflets and email bulletins (unlike the other candidates I believe in communicating all year round, not just at election time), holding regular public meetings and working in local schools, businesses and charities when Parliament isn’t sitting.
And unlike, my Labour opponent, I wouldn’t try to carry on representing another part of Croydon on the Council as well as being your MP.
So if you want a change of government and an open, accessible and accountable local MP, give me your support tomorrow.