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Brexit will play a part in local election in Medway fear Labour's Vince Maple and Conservative Alan Jarrett

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Leaders of the two main political groups in Medway believe the upcoming council election could be influenced by the goings-on in Westminster.

Although Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) and Cllr Vince Maple (Lab) want to focus on their respective offerings to the Towns’ voters, both accept the ongoing Brexit situation could play a part in the outcome on May 2.

And while the United Kingdom’s proposed departure from the European Union dominates the headlines, other questions have also been raised about the premiership of Theresa May (Con).

Cllr Alan Jarrett - Leader of Medway Council Picture: Gary Browne FM5080854 (2063613)
Cllr Alan Jarrett - Leader of Medway Council Picture: Gary Browne FM5080854 (2063613)

Cllr Jarrett told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It could have an effect if, as looks likely, they make a Horlicks of Brexit because 64% of people in Medway – including me – voted to leave.

“If the government hasn’t left the European Union by then (May 2), then there’s going to be some disappointed people around. Hopefully it won’t reflect on our administration.

“When we get the opportunity to talk to people, we get them off the national stuff. I’ll say let’s just talk about what we’re providing locally and what you think of X, Y and Z.

“A possible outcome could be people are becoming increasingly fed up with politics and you find low turnouts in certain areas. But you might get lots of angry Brexiteers wanting to send a message to the government.”

The Labour Party nationally has had its own issues including regarding claims of anti-semitism, concerns over Jeremy Corbyn’s electability, and Brexit infighting.

Cllr Vince Maple, Labour
Cllr Vince Maple, Labour

Cllr Maple added: “This isn’t a general election, but it would be naive to not be realistic enough to say national politics does play a role.

“Conservative voters are not happy with Theresa May.

“I accept entirely the flip side of what I’ve said about the Conservatives impacts on us as well. Again, some people on the doorsteps don’t like any political leaders nationally – they’re clear on that.

“If they say they’re a Labour voter but not overly keen on Jeremy Corbyn, then I’m clear to them that he’s not standing in Medway.

“I support him, I want him to be the next Prime Minister, but I accept that not every Labour voter does – in the same way that every Conservative voter does not support Theresa May.”

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