Portal British Poles interviews Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat candidate for Kensington. He is one of 21 rebel Conservative MPs, who were expelled in September 2019 from the Conservative Party because of their anti-Brexit stance. Gyimah is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Energy.
British Poles: Despite governments’ numerous promises to secure the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit, many are still concerned about their future. Many Poles that we speak to believe that Brexit was first and forehand aimed against them – the largest immigrant group in the UK. What would you say to that?
Sam Gyimah: As a Liberal Democrat, I firmly believe in a tolerant, open and inclusive Britain. We need to move forward and bring the country and Kensington back together. Under Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, the transformation of the Conservative Party into a nationalist populist party is complete. In this election, a vote for Boris Johnson is a vote for Nigel Farage. Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn – the lifelong Eurosceptic – claims to be neutral on Brexit, but you cannot be neutral on EU Citizens Rights.In this election, we can send a message that we can do better than that.
BP: Why are you the best candidate for Kensington and the United Kingdom? What differs you from other parties?
SG: This election is not business as usual. Britain faces two extremes: a hard-left or a hard-Brexit government. This election is about our values, our prosperity and the kind of future we want to build. I will not stand by and just accept this drift to the extremes. We can do better – I will be a powerful voice for Kensington in Parliament, and work to bring the community back together. I am a second generation immigrant, brought up by a single mother who was a nurse in the NHS. I believe in an open and tolerant Britain that is pro-business and committed to well-funded public services. These are the strong values that I would bring to Parliament.
BP: Kensington and Chelsea is a place filled with Polish history. There are Polish restaurants here, there is a legendary Ognisko Polish Hearth club nearby. What could you do to preserve this heritage and promote the culture of British Poles?
SG: We should absolutely celebrate the diversity of this wonderful community, including the incredible contribution that British Poles make. Liberal Democrats offer strong support for small businesses and are the true party of business. For example, we would scrap business rates and replace them with a new land value tax, which could help some of the Polish businesses across Kensington. Most importantly, I will ensure that your voices are heard across the borough and within Parliament. If elected, my door will always be open and I will do what I can to ensure your community thrives. I will work to bring the community back together.
Picture: Twitter @SamGyimah