‘I’ve lived in Sutton all my life, and did my first door knock at 13’: meet the new Conservative parliamentary candidate for Carshalton and Wallington

The new Conservative parliamentary candidate for Carshalton and Wallington has put his selection down to his local roots and knowledge.

Elliot Colburn said he wants to focus on bins, parking and hospitals and claimed the incumbent Liberal Democrats had a poor record on all of these.

The 26-year-old, an NHS worker in south west London, said: “I’ve worked and lived in Sutton all my life. The other candidates were not from from the area. I’ve also got campaigning experience, been a campaign manager for about four or five years and been around the block a bit.”

He is also well acquainted with Sutton doorsteps. “I did my first door knock when I was 13,” he said.

He knows people are concerned about St Helier hospital, and, as an NHS public affairs officer, he especially cares about its patients and staff.

In his view the Lib Dems councillors are dealing badly with the Sutton parking permit consultation.

“The whole point is that it is an emissions-based system. But parked cars don’t release emissions. It’s a complete disaster,” he said.

Does his recent nomination selection hint to an imminent general election?

“I hope not,” he joked. “The party has been selecting candidates for a year for seats, so it has been on a bit of a recruitment drive. The idea is to give candidates time to get involved in their constituencies to demonstrate what Conservatives can offer.”

As a leave voter in a leave seat, he believes the Brexit question is settled and voters want other things addressed.

“We have got to stop talking about it. It is not about respecting the result of the referendum. We are going to leave with or without a deal. Residents can see there is a real disconnect between the Westminster bubble and the rest of the country,” he said.

Supporting Brexit shouldn’t stop him from connecting with young voters, he believes, because they too are moving on to everyday issues.

“Being younger than average myself I can relate to younger voters’ concerns about the cost of living. They are wondering whether they’ll ever get on the housing ladder. Me and my fiance have benefited from the cut in stamp duty for first time buyers,” he said.

Mr Colburn is openly gay and will also campaign for the LGBT community, for example by relaunching a forum in Sutton.

He said: “I was involved in setting up it up and it’s something that it is personally quite important to me.”

Nationally he will back the Gender Recognition Act and LGBT rights.

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