On the eve of one of the most important general elections for decades, Theresa Villiers has issued the following message to voters in Chipping Barnet:
"Tomorrow, this country will go to the polls to choose the next Prime Minister and the next Government, and Chipping Barnet will choose its MP.
For 12 years, I’ve been standing up for Barnet and campaigning on the issues that matter here such as protecting the green belt and our local environment, improving public transport and broadband infrastructure, backing local NHS services, and supporting local businesses and high streets. This constituency is my home and I will always be a strong local champion for Barnet.
I have a track record of getting results on issues that matter to all of us who live here. So I spoke out against hikes in business rates caused by revaluation. The Chancellor listened and a major package of support for small businesses and high streets was announced in the Budget.
I have worked with residents against over-development and encroachment on our green spaces. I was part of the successful resident-led campaign against a waste disposal plant at Pinkham Way. I fought alongside residents to ensure that East Barnet Health Centre was renovated and re-opened. I played a key role in securing the upgrade and improvement of the Northern Line, leading to more trains and better reliability for commuters.
Over this past decade and more, I have highlighted causes close to the hearts of many in our diverse borough such as freedom for Cyprus, peace and security for Israel, justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka, and action on human rights in Iran.
The referendum divided the constituency and the country. Although I voted differently from many of my constituents, I believe we now need to try to bridge divisions. If I’m re-elected I’ll be listening to the views of the whole community, whether they voted leave or remain. It is in the interests of all of us, whichever side we chose, that we now make a success of the decision this country made in the referendum last year. My goal for a successful Brexit is an outward-looking UK engaging internationally, trading globally, and shaping a new partnership with our European neighbours with which I hope the majority of both leave and remain voters can feel comfortable.
And I fully accept how crucial it is that we give certainty the 3 million EU nationals living here and the one million UK nationals living in the EU as soon as we can. In Parliament I have urged the Government to make this a top priority for the negotiations which will start just 11 days after the election.
My greatest goal in politics is a strong economy. Almost every other political objective depends on achieving that. We need a strong economy so that living standards go up for people in this constituency; so young people get the jobs they want and the opportunity to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them; so we can keep taxes on ordinary working people as low as possible; and so we can fund the NHS, the police, the armed services and all the other public services we value so much.
For nearly four years I served at the highest levels of Government and was part of the team which delivered economic stability and roughly 1000 jobs for each day the Conservatives have been in office. We’ve cut income tax for 31 million people. We’ve reduced the deficit by around two thirds. It is 40 years since unemployment was this low. And we’re investing record amounts in the NHS, with more doctors and nurses than at any time in its 68 year history, handling more operations, more A&E visits, and more treatments than ever before.
The choice at this election is between Theresa May as Prime Minister or Jeremy Corbyn. Voting for Labour or the Lib Dems would see Jeremy Corbyn on the steps of Downing Street, heading a chaotic coalition propped up by the SNP. This would damage the economy with higher taxes and more debt, hitting public services and living standards right here in Barnet. The highly respected thinktank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said that Labour’s spending plans would lead to the heaviest tax burden for 70 years. Jeremy Corbyn’s plans on inheritance tax would drag half the homes in the capital back into the scope of the tax.
Jeremy Corbyn has boasted about voting against every piece of counter-terrorism legislation for 30 years. It is not safe to trust our security with him or with Diane Abbott.
Only a vote for the Conservatives can lock in the economic progress we have made and I appeal for your support tomorrow."