Chantal Lee
Chantal Lee

It will be the first election experience for Labour’s Chantal Lee, who says she wants to turn the stereotypical image of an MP on its head.

Miss Lee, 25, of St Ann’s, Nottingham, has a first-class degree in youth justice from Nottingham Trent University and has recently started work for a Nottinghamshire-based women’s refuge charity.

“There are a lot of people out there disillusioned by politics and think that everyone in Westminster is the same,” she said.

“The day-to-day role of an MP should be at a local level where they can roll up their sleeves and be the spokesperson for their local community. This is something I am fully prepared to do.”

Miss Lee said that if elected she would move to Newark.

Commenting on Brexit she said that it had resulted in a lot of people becoming engaged in politics and it was important that the vote was respected.

She said the task of Britain exiting the EU needed to be considered carefully.

“In terms of job security for EU nationals here and living abroad it is a troubling time,” she said.

“People need security and that is what the Labour Party can offer in these negotiations.

“We need to get on with working towards a positive removal from the EU while maintaining our friendships with neighbours in Europe. It is not positive for anyone if we ostracised them.”

Speaking about education Miss Lee said it was unacceptable that families felt the need to send their children to secondary schools outside Newark. She said she was sure it was not a decision that was taken lightly.

“What needs to be tackled is the funding of education,” she said.

“What is happening is that schools are not being adequately funded and they don’t have the resources to cope with the children coming into the system.

“Newark needs good quality schools. It is only right and only fair. If I was to be elected it would be a priority for me.

“We have got good, talented young people in Newark and it is not right that they have to travel elsewhere to receive good quality education.”  

Miss Lee said the Conservative decision to scrap Education Maintenance Allowance was a subject close to her heart.

“The EMA was the catalyst for changing my life around and I would not have been able to complete my degree without it,” she said.

“I am delighted the Labour Party has pledged to reinstate it.”

On health she said not enough money was being put into the NHS and that it was not getting any better. 

“It is only right that people can expect good quality, free-at-the-point-of-access, healthcare,” she said.

“In Newark it is important we keep our hospital open. It is only right that people feel safe and secure.”

She said, as a parent, she understood the concerns of trying to get a doctor’s appointment for a sick child only to be told there were none left and to ring back.

“I am proud of Labour for pledging to put more money into NHS and social care services,” Miss Lee said.  

“People in Newark need a local representative who will put them first.

“They need a Labour MP who will stand up for them and I will be campaigning over the coming weeks to show local people that there is an alternative to this Tory government.”