Published: 13:35, 03 December 2019
Some of the candidates willing to be the next Maidstone and the Weald MP will go head-to-head at a hustings event this evening.
The Green Party's Stuart Jeffery, Dan Wilkinson of Labour and the Liberal Democrats' James Willis will all be attending a discussion at The Market House pub in Earl Street from 7pm.
However, Helen Grant of the Conservatives and independent candidate Yolande Kenward will not be at the event, which is hosted by Extinction Rebellion Maidstone and is expected to focus on climate change and the environment.
Mrs Grant said she was unable to attend as a service confirming her two sons, husband and herself into the church clashed with the hustings and had been set for some months.
The Tory insisted she would be attending another debate with candidates later in the week and added: "Protecting our environment and tackling climate change are causes which are extremely close to my heart and I am therefore very sorry that I will not be able to make this event.
"I do believe that my party are world leaders in taking action to protect our environment and I would have loved the opportunity to make that case in person.
"I will however be submitting a written statement and answers to each of the questions which I hope will be read out."
Mrs Kenward also confirmed she would not be attending, writing in an email, seen by KentOnline: "My expertise is not in climate matters and that does not mean that I do not care, it means that I have been working flat out for years in other directions and that I need to work with like-minded people whom I can trust who have this expertise."
More by this authorTom Pyman