A third Labour councillor pitches to be Brighton Kemptown candidate

Posted On 21 Apr 2017 at 7:14 pm

A third Labour councillor has put himself forward to be the party’s candidate in Brighton Kemptown at the general election on Thursday 8 June.

Councillor Tom Bewick said today (Friday 21 April): “I believe I am the best candidate to take on Simon Kirby, providing a credible Labour message about the need to halt the decline of our local public services and invest in our communities.”

Councillor Bewick, who represents Westbourne Ward on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “In May 2015, I was the only Labour member of the city council to win a traditionally Tory seat in Hove, demonstrating my moderate appeal to residents beyond tribal politics.”

He faces a challenge in Kemptown from two fellow members of the council – Dan Yates and Lloyd Russell-Moyle – among others.

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Councillor Bewick said: “The Tories want to make this election about Brexit. I will campaign hard to expose their failed economic and social policies that led to Brexit in the first place – stagnating incomes, the crisis in our National Health Service, generation rent and young people unable to get on the housing ladder (and) our local schools that are so strapped for cash they are regularly seeking handouts from parents to pay for necessities.

“And on Brexit, while it is the case that the city voted overwhelmingly for Remain last June, the same cannot be said about large parts of the constituency.

“I spent a lot of time in the east of Brighton, Peacehaven, Rottingdean and Telscombe last summer. A clear majority were for Leave. I also campaigned for a Leave vote.

Councillor Tom Bewick


“But my record on this subject shows that my stance on leaving the EU is in the finest traditions of the Labour Party.

“I’ve argued for the return of our law-making powers so we can invest in our young people and our economy without the hindrance of Brussels bureaucrats telling us what we can and can’t do.

“As a businessman and entrepreneur who works internationally, I see a brighter future for the country being able to strike its own trade deals.

“I’ve argued consistently for the rights of EU nationals and I believe even after Brexit the country should adopt a pragmatic, managed migration policy based on what our local economies need.

“The Tories want to use Brexit to reduce workers’ rights, slash environmental standards and privatise our public services.

“I believe that strong Labour representation in Parliament is the only way to secure the best deal in these negotiations with the EU, including tariff-free access to the single market.

“If I was elected to Parliament, I would be fighting for a more progressive vision of Brexit every step of the way.

“The fact is we are leaving the EU. My focus will be on making the best of it.

“First and foremost, I want to represent the people of Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven as a hard-working constituency MP.

Simon Kirby


“The brutal truth is that Simon Kirby, as a minister in the government, has failed to bring any real focus or attention to the needs of local people.

“Instead of rolling his sleeves up, for example, over the pressing need to restore Madeira Arches, he went AWOL, allowing this important matter to descend into media cat-calling only after a failed bid.

“As a former lead member for children’s services, I wrote to him on several occasions about local and council issues and never even received the courtesy of a response.

“So if I’m the Labour Party candidate for this constituency, I will be explaining to the voters why they deserve a different kind of local representation from what has been delivered by Mr Kirby.

“It will be about standing up for and dealing with the daily concerns of ordinary people.

“It will be about working co-operatively with all political parties and community groups to get the investment we need in business regeneration and local public services.

“Above all, it will be about using my political and business background to improve the life chances and opportunities of every single person in the constituency.”

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Cllr Bewick wanted to close down Hove’s Carnegie Library and shrink it into the Museum. He kept on and on about wanting to have talks in the Museum and touted the fact that the Museum is opposite “his” house where he lives as a “businessman” (whatever that means).

    Talks could equally be held in the Carnegie if he wanted that. I never understood the logic of the fact that the Museum is opposite “his” house (which in fact he rents from the owner of the house next door, as nearby, outraged residents have pointed out).

    I think that Labour would be as misguided in opting for cllr Bewick in Kemptown as it would be the rest of those who have have offered their “services”. Simon Burgess and Nancy Platts could have won it, hands down, but they are evidently weary of the whole thing (understandably enough).

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    I might be tempted to agree with Cllr Bewick about his chances in Kemptown, but for one thing: if Kirby is deservedly unseated, it will be because he has been an absent and totally invisible, uninvolved MP (with a pompadour haircut as inappropriate as the 1950’s greaser punk hairstyling Trump sportsd). And Cllr Bewick had to step back from front bench duties within the Labour Administration here in B & H because of his business interests (involving a lot of travel to the USA). He would struggle to find the time to be an effective, involved CONSTITUENCY MP.

  3. Harry Cowley's Nemesis Reply

    ‘Credible Labour message’….hate to break it to you bud, but that ship sailed long ago.

    Kemp Town is the role.sensible.part of Brighton.

  4. Arthur Pendragon Reply

    Having read his blurb (and seen his photo) it’s almost unbelievable that this guy is in the Labour Party! He is a natural Tory at heart. Unless Labour want over three thousand green votes and a few hundred Lib dems to hand the seat to the Tories they had better stand a Remain candidate.

  5. Keith Gudlow Reply

    Don’t think any of them stand a chance, the now member of the LGBT community who has thrown her hat into the ring makes for an interesting election.

  6. Chris Halls Reply

    The tories wish to use Brexit to destroy workers rights ? Does this candidate surport the repeal of the Tories anti trade union legislation. Is he behind the railworkers fight to retain guards on trains. Will he speak in favour of a minimum wage of £10 per hour.
    Will he live on the average wage so he knows what life is like for the majority and not become part of the corrupt Westminster bubble.
    We need an MP in Kemptown who stands for wages and conditions of the millions not the profits of the millionaires. Is he that man.

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