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portrait of hannah ginnett on blue background. she is blonde and smiling

Conservative London Assembly candidate has not read Shaun Bailey’s manifesto “line by line”

The Conservative GLA candidate for Lambeth and Southwark today claimed she had not read mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey’s manifesto in detail.

GLA candidates are elected to scrutinise the Mayor’s annual budget, examine policy, and make proposals by investigating issues that affect Londoners.

Ginnett declared her support for Bailey but also insisted that she would hold him to account as she is a “professional nag”.

However, when asked about how Bailey planned to implement his manifesto pledge of more cycle hangars, Hannah Ginnett admitted she hadn’t gone through the manifesto “line by line”.

Initially she was keen to distance herself from the Conservative party brand which she admitted had been “tainted” by the ongoing sleaze and lobbying scandal.

Ginnett said: “I’m aligned with the Conservatives on policy but it does not mean I have my fingers in the till.

“It’s one reason I try not align myself with any particular cause or organisation because I don’t want to be held by association.

“There are lots of people who don’t like the Conservative brand and I totally accept that.

“I don’t want to be beholden to any organisations and I’m not going to be unduly influenced.”

Asked why then she was not running as an independent she backtracked by saying since 2010 she had been a Conservative and she was in fact aligned with the party.

“The sleaze thing is not every Tory, that is more about politics than any party,” she said.

Ginnett and a member of the public holding pitchforks in a flower bed looking tired but ecstatic
GETTING STUCK IN: Ginnett was happy to be back out in the community

Ginnett had previously declared: “Election campaigns are for politicians to complain about problems and then make rash ill-considered promises to fix them.”

Asked why she was different, she admitted she preferred not to make promises she would not be able to keep.

She added: “It’s very easy to say yes I’ll do this and that, but then the world changes around you.

“The best I can do is promise that I will do my best and be a loud voice.”

Ginnett unsuccessfully ran for the Conservatives in council elections in 2014 in Clapham Town, and then twice in 2018, in Surrey Docks and in London Bridge & West Bermondsey.

She currently faces the Labour favourite Marina Ahmad, who is looking to take-over from the incumbent, now Labour MP for Vauxhall, Florence Eshalomi, who was elected in 2016 with 96,946 votes compared to Robert Flint’s 34,703.

Asked how she planned to win against the odds she said: “For me it’s not just about trying to win the election, it’s about giving another voice in Lambeth and Southwark.

“I’m not saying I have no chance of winning, I am absolutely giving this my all, but I understand that it is a challenging picture.

“To think otherwise is just fantasising.”

conservative campaigners grouped together for a picture holding flyers promoting mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Ginnett pictured with Conservative MP James Cleverly

Shaun Bailey’s manifesto also promises to phase in driverless trains on the underground, only a week after the RMT union settled a long-running dispute with South Western Rail over ‘guardless’ trains.

Ginnett said this policy proposal would probably lead to some redundancies, but she was looking to do her best for “consumers”.

Ginnett also responded to reports that the Conservative party had pulled funding from Bailey’s election campaign, with one Tory insider telling the Daily Mail Bailey was “the worst candidate in history”.

She found it surprising to hear these reports and was not aware of any funding cuts to his PR department.

She said: “We’ve all had some really difficult times in the last year, but I think Shaun has brought so much positivity and energy, and he is still so enthusiastic about it – it keeps me going.”

Ginnett was keen to highlight London’s issues, including mugging, of which she had been a victim, house prices, and getting London cycling.

She proposes increasing police numbers and building more homes, in line with Shaun Bailey’s key manifesto pledges.

Some of her ideas for London include an interest-free loan scheme to help poorer Londoner’s afford bikes, and getting drivers out of their “old bangers” by encouraging cycling proficiency tests.

She described the difficulty of juggling a full-time job and the election campaign as “hectic”, but said it was great to be back in the community after a long lockdown living by herself.

She added: “To not have people cowering away thinking I have Covid is really positive.”

The London Assembly elections will be held on 6 May.

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