Published: 08:26, 07 November 2019
| Updated: 08:29, 07 November 2019
Dan Wilkinson has joined the battle to become the next MP for Maidstone and the Weald.
Mr Wilkinson will be standing for Labour after his selection was approved by the party's National Executive Committee yesterday.
Mr Wilkinson is the acting chairman of the town's constituency Labour Party and was previously a candidate in the 2018 Maidstone borough council elections, where he contested the Park Wood seat and lost out by 24 votes to Conservative Daniel Rose.
The 36-year-old warehouseman and trade union rep has a background in homelessness charity work and campaigning to protect public services from cuts.
He was brought up in Marden and educated at Maidstone Grammar School. He said he was passionate about preserving green spaces and protecting the environment.
"I'm proud that the Labour group on Maidstone Borough Council proposed the Climate Emergency Motion, with a net zero carbon target of 2030, which was passed unanimously." he said.
"While I welcome the input of pressure groups and minor parties, when it comes to this most important of issues it shows that the only way to achieve the vital necessary changes is the democratic way."
He said he was also concerned about the divisions within society, both ideologically and in terms of the distribution of wealth.
He said: "Our country is at a crossroads, and this election presents us with an historic opportunity to redress the imbalance between the many - the real wealth creators in our society - and the privileged few.
"A Labour government will mean a Green Industrial Revolution, a proper council house building programme, and a decent start in life for our children and free bus travel for under-25s.
"On top of this, only a Labour vote guarantees a final say on any Brexit deal.
"We know that Boris Johnson's deal, as well as drawing a customs border down the Irish Sea, will allow him to slash protections for workers' rights and the environment.
"Once in government, Labour will negotiate its own deal and put it back to the people, with the option to Remain on the ballot paper. Smaller parties, safe in the knowledge that there is no danger of their forming a government, can promise what they like about revocation, No Deal and all manner of other things - but Labour is the only viable party with a common sense policy that will let the people decide."
In the 2017 General Election for Maidstone and the Weald, Labour finished in second place behind Conservative Helen Grant.
Other candidates already declared for the election are Mrs Grant (Con), James Willis (Lib Dem) and Stuart Jeffery (Green). The deadline for nominations is 4pm next Thursday, November 14.