Louth and Horncastle candidates call for more cash for Lincolnshire

Four of the candidates battling to become Louth and Horncastle’s MP shrugged off party differences and united in a call for a fairer funding deal for Lincolnshire.

Victoria Atkins (Conservatives), Lisa Gabriel (Lib Dems), Jonathan Noble (UKIP) and Julie Speed (Labour) took part in a debate organised by the BBC and staged in Horncastle Market Place on Friday.

Peter Hill (Monster Raving Loony Party) also attended but did not contribute to the debate, explaining he had ‘only just returned from holiday’.

As expected, the four candidates did not agree on much - except a general acceptance Lincolnshire needed more Government cash for a wide range of services including education, the NHS, police and transport.

The four clashed about their views on Brexit and how they would ‘re-unite’ the country after a 52-48 per cent vote in the referendum to leave the EU.

Ms Atkins denied the country was ‘divided’, saying many people who voted Remain were ‘fully reconciled’ with the result.

She said voters in next month’s General Election should trust Theresa May to negotiate the best possible deal for the country.

Her comments brought a stinging response from Mr Noble who pointed out Ms Atkins had campaigned strongly on a Remain ticket.

He said UKIP was the only party that could deliver a ‘hard’ Brexit and not a ‘marshmallow’ deal.

Ms Gabriel pointed out the Lib Dems were the only party who would negotiate a deal and then ask the people to decide whether the UK still wanted to leave.

Ms Speed insisted the country was divided and claimed Mrs May’s ‘threatening’ style would lead to a ‘bad divorce’ with the EU which would effect ‘generations to come’.

There were differing views on many topics including winter fuel allowance and education although Ms Atkins claimed under Tory plans, 42 of our 52 schools in the constituency would be ‘better off’ and none ‘worse off’.