Newham Recorder Big Debate: Is it time for a right-wing Newham?

This week we're asking if our traditionally left-wing constituencies should take a different direction this general election.

Since their creation in 1997, the seats of East Ham and West Ham have been under the control of Labour MPs Stephen Timms and Lyn Brown respectively.

Before the constituency of West Ham was carved from portions of Newham North West and Newham South, the area's MPs included Labour Party founder Keir Hardie. In 2015's general election West Ham was the 14th safest of Labour's 232 seats.

In the 2016 general election, Stephen Timms received the most votes of any MP (35,471) and the largest majority of any MP (27,826).

But will Labour continue its undisputed reign over Newham with a leader as left-wing as Jeremy Corbyn? Or will it turn to the right and vote Tory?

MG - Deputy Chairman Membership & Finance of West Ham Conservatives

This election is about building a united and stable government with the strength to negotiate our exit from the EU, prepare our economy for the challenges ahead and take the right long-term decisions for the national interest.

While the Labour Party has a long history in Newham, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is far removed from that history. His election as Labour leader represents a hijacking of the party by an extreme left-wing element that does not represent the country and does not represent Newham.

Although the Conservatives increased their share of the vote in the 2014 local elections and 2015 general election, I expect most voters in Newham do not consider themselves especially left-wing or right-wing. They are tired, though, of the 100 per cent control of the local council and every elected office by the Labour Party. Complacency and unaccountability has hurt hard-working people in Newham. The present Labour Party has shown that isn't interested in solutions and entirely focused on pushing a hard-left agenda which would create a chaotic coalition at the mercy of groups like the Scottish nationalists.

It is also clear Theresa May is not the stereotypical Tory of left-wing imaginations. In her first speech as Prime Minister she pledged to make Britain a country that works for everyone, not just a privileged few. People in Newham who have voted Labour before do not need to change their minds or their politics to vote Conservative on June 8. I want this area and the people living here to be safe, secure and successful. On June 8 voters should back Theresa May's Conservatives over Jeremy Corbyn's Labour as the best choice to deliver this.