Fringe Box



Local Woman Selected As Labour Candidate But ‘Dirty Election’ Predicted by Campaign Manager

Published on: 7 Nov, 2019
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2019

By Hugh Coakley

While the Conservative Party was selecting its candidate at the Harbour Hotel, The Guildford Dragon NEWS was given exclusive access to a meeting of Guildford Labour at the Guildford Institute where they unveiled their Parliamentary candidate. She is local party member Anne Rouse, who stood as a borough council candidate in May.

Ms Rouse’s selection means four out of five of the nominated candidates for the Guildford seat, so far, are women. Nominations close on November 14.

In the rousing Labour meeting the election campaign manager, Sue Hackman, said: “It is going to be a dirty election, I can smell it.”

She cited a controversial Liberal Democrat leaflet as an example (see: Letter: This Lib Dem Election Newsletter is Untruthful – Error or Deliberate Misinformation?). The newsletter stated Labour would not give people the final say on Brexit when, she said, Labour policy was specifically to hold a second referendum after negotiating a new deal with the EU.

“We must rise above it.” Ms Hackman said. “Our policies are our answer but I will be submitting a complaint to the Electoral Commission.”

Anne Rouse, the Labour Party candidate for the 2019 general election.

Ms Rouse will be battling to increase the Labour share of the vote which had risen to 19% in the 2017 general election after climbing dramatically from 5% in 2010 and 12% in 2015.

She told The Dragon she was delighted to have been selected but “very nervous”.

Anne Rouse answering questions from the floor at the Labour Party meeting on Thursday, November 7.

She answered a wide range of questions from the floor ranging from climate change and Brexit to personal questions about how her family were taking the news of her candidature. “I couldn’t do this without the support of my family.” she said.

Asked whether there was any scandal in her past, she answered with a grin: “I wish there was, it might make me more interesting.”

“I am a socialist,” she added, “and a member of the Co-op Party as well”. On Jeremy Corbyn, she said: “He is not a liability as some say. You cannot fault his socialist values and the young love that. He doesn’t come across as well on television but he is a great live speaker.”

Anne Rouse, the Labour Party candidate for Guildford, with her campaign team at the Guildford Institute.

Asked about the Labour vote being squeezed between Leave and Remain on Brexit, Ms Rouse said: “Labour policy on Brexit gives people a choice. But we need to speak to people to make them realise the general election is not just for a Brexit decision but for five years.”

On climate change, she said she had been inspired by the Extinction Rebellion protests. “If we don’t do anything about it, we could have a 5C rise in the earth’s temperature.”

On private schools, she added: “I don’t have a problem. It is a choice but it should be fair. They have charitable status; if they paid the tax on their income, it would be fair.”

Ms Rouse,  an accountant, with small local businesses,has lived in Guildford for almost 30 years. She works with her husband Rob, who said he “was as proud as Punch”  at her selection.

Anne Rouse with her husband, Rob, who said of her: “I am as proud as Punch.”

Labour organiser Ms Hackman added: “Anne is a long-term resident, mother, worker and politician, and a perfect candidate for Guildford. She will bring both empathy and principle to the role.”

Richard Mithen, chair of Guildford Labour Party, said: “I can’t think of a better candidate. We are thrilled to have a truly local, truly active person leading from the front.”

Cllr James Walsh, GBC councillor for the Stoke ward, said: “Anne is a superb candidate, warm, down to earth and able to engage with people. She will be formidable. The seat is winnable but it is going to be tough.”

Guildford Labour Party’s candidate for Guildford, Anne Rouse, with shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer at the Labour Party’s conference in 2018. Anne was “in the room” as the crucial conference motion on Brexit was being created.

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Responses to Local Woman Selected As Labour Candidate But ‘Dirty Election’ Predicted by Campaign Manager

  1. Heather Tipton Reply

    November 8, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Good luck Anne Rouse!

    I was a Labour Councillor for Stoke Ward for 13 years back in the 1980s and 90s. If people vote with their hearts and convictions, instead of tactically because they think Labour can never win in Guildford, then she should do well, especially if there is a big turnout from the University and FE colleges.

    We desperately need some socialist values introduced into our sad society before it is too late.

  2. David Burgess Reply

    November 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Anne will be a fantastic MP for Guildford.

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