When asked to name the current coalition government’s finest accomplishment, Conservative Party candidate Simon Marcus said “changing lives”, making reference to the economic recovery and welfare changes which Conservatives say have increased opportunities and life chances for many people.
The subject of welfare reform evinced some real passion; Marcus spoke about people who had been out of work for months and years finally receiving the counselling they need from Job Centre staff – “they’re in the business of turning lives around”.
On the NHS, Simon Marcus insisted that a state owned and operated healthcare service is still sustainable and financially viable in the twenty-first century: “There’s no question whatsoever, but you have to make efficiencies”. Marcus said that “free at the point of use is here to stay”, and spoke of his commitment to the NHS – “my children were born on the NHS, my dad was an NHS doctor – it’s in my blood”.
Simon Marcus also drew attention for opposing several key elements of government policy – he stated his firm opposition to the bedroom tax, but also to the renewal of Trident, the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent.
Click here for interviews with each of the 2015 candidates standing for election in Hampstead and Kilburn, and a summary of the recent hustings organised by West Hampstead Life.