STCA Press release - PPC Candidate - 5th July

South Thanet Conservatives are pleased to report the conclusion of the process to select their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Constituency to fight the general election on 7th May 2015.

A meeting of Association members took place at St George's Church of England Foundation School, Broadstairs where the candidates faced questions from Association members.  Craig Mackinlay was selected.  Craig is a Councillor in Medway and was the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner at the November 2012 election.  Craig Mackinlay said, "I would like to thank South Thanet Conservatives for putting their trust in me to fight and retain this seat next year, the work starts now on what will be a 10 month all-out campaign to win.  I share entirely residents' concerns about the ever increasing power of the EU, immigration and the economy and the growing appeal of UKIP locally and across Kent.  I was a founder of UKIP and previous leader and deputy leader of it.  My views have never changed, but only we, as Conservatives forming the next Government can deliver the long overdue In/ Out referendum on our membership.

As a Chartered Accountant in practice, I know the burdens that small businesses face, and the economic ruin left to us by the last Labour Government.  The national fight will be between us and Labour if we are to continue with our economic plan to repair the nation's finances, offer smaller less intrusive government, deliver improved education and evolve a fairer benefits system that rewards work and is fit for purpose.  Only we can deliver continued dynamism into the economy that will bring opportunities for all.

I will be adding my weight to the fight for a future for Manston, pushing for the delivery of High Speed rail services to Thanet and for our unique and natural assets within the constituency to be added drivers towards economic prosperity here.  Far from being an outsider, I have longstanding links into the Constituency.  As a keen sailor, Ramsgate has long been my second home.

Laura Sandys said, "I am thrilled to have Craig as the new candidate for South Thanet who will be determined to campaign hard for what we need locally.  He is experienced in business and has played a major role in Kent politics for many years.  We are going to work hard together to ensure a Conservative victory in the next year and am sure that the residents of South Thanet will see him as a hard worker and experienced in dealing with the complexities of our area."