Dover: Candidates united against sale of port

Dover: Candidates united against sale of port

By Robert Dobson

Liberal Democrat candidate for Dover John Brigden has come out against the sale of the port of Dover.

Interviewed by the docks for the BBC’s Politics Show, which will be aired on Sunday, Mr Bridgen said: “As it stands I am against the sale of the port but I’m opened-minded as to future plans depending on what the sale would give to the people of Dover.”

He added that “the people of Dover have never got anything from the port” and said any agreement that saw investment directly into the town was the important factor, not the issue of the sale.

All three main candidates have come out against the proposed privatisation and sale.

The port is still held in in the public sector but the board of the port has applied for voluntary privatisation in order to invest more money into the infrastructure.

The sales of Europe’s busiest ferry port could raise as much as £350 miilion for the exchequer, with one possible buyer thought to be French authorities.

Local Labour MP Gwyn Prosser said: “There’s no way the board’s current submission can make any progress, it’s dead in the water, and a good thing too.”

The Conservative candidate, Charlie Elphicke, is also opposed. He said: “I am dead against the sell-off and the Conservatives have pledged a review that I hope will put a stop to this plan.”

Prospective voters watching the interview were not filled with election fever.

One elderly Dover resident, who did not wish to be named, said it was rare to see a candidate in Dover at all: “They never set foot in this constituency and then expect us to vote for them. At least Gwyn Prosser turns up once a month and takes the grief at his meetings.”