Always keen to support people in Croydon prepared to support democracy and Brexit. The Croydon Constitutionalists spoke with Croydon South Conservative Chris Philp.
He first became the MP for Croydon South in the May 2015 election. Chris has also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Ministry of Justice.
Chris also spoke at the Croydon Constitutionalists first event in May 2018.
Thank-you for your time Chris.
What first got you involved in politics?
I spent 15 years setting up and running my own businesses before being first elected in 2015. I was used to making decisions and getting things done quickly. I thought we had too many career politicians in Parliament and I wanted to see more people there with real-world experience who can get things done. So I decided to run myself – first, as a local councillor and then for Parliament. MPs are able to make changes that impact the day to day lives of people throughout the United Kingdom and also help those who need it most in our society. But to achieve this, you need to be able to get things done.
You first ran for parliament against Glenda Jackson CBE in Hampstead and Kilburn any memories from that campaign?
The result in Hampstead was one of the closest election results in the country in 2010. I lost by just 42 votes, despite pretty much doubling the Conservative vote (accounting for boundary changes). Having lost by 42 votes, I’ve been trying hard to forget that election ever since…
You grew up in West Wickham, what are your memories of neighbouring Croydon from then?
I remember going to Panto at the Fairfield Halls when I was growing up. I also remember using the 119 bus a lot and I remember sitting the Trinity entrance exam some time during the winter of 1986/7. I did not get a full scholarship which my parents were hoping for, so went to a Grammar School in a neighbouring Borough instead.
You campaigned for Remain in the referendum and your father has stood for UKIP. Can we ask how were relations at the Philp family Christmas?
There were some robust discussions, but in the end I believe in democracy and the Leave side won. So we must respect that result and get on with implementing it.
What are your hopes for Brexit now?
I believe that it is important to ensure that we deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum. The revised deal Boris has negotiated respects the referendum result, and also protects trade. We need to pass that as quickly as possible. The uncertainty has gone on for too long and we need to implement the referendum and all move on.
What do you think are the big issues in Croydon Politics?
Croydon’s Labour Council has shown that it has no interest in working for those in the South of the Borough by the way in which it approves virtually every planning application put before the committee, with no regard for our already strained infrastructure or the character of our area. This is also why I am supporting the campaign for a Directly Elected Mayor of Croydon, who would then have to listen to the whole Borough in order to get (re)elected.
If returned to parliament what priorities would you like to take forward?
The NHS is a huge priority. We have just had a brand new A&E at Croydon Hospital (Mayday) and Purley Hospital Minor Injuries Unit / GP Hub opens in the morning 365 days a year, following a successful campaign I ran with residents. I want as many as possible of the 50,000 extra nurses and 6,000 GPs to come to Croydon. I fully support the 20,000 extra Police, and also want as many of these as possible to come to Croydon – I estimate that over 100 will. I will also campaign to end the persecution of Christians in many countries around the world, and to get more funding for Croydon schools – we are getting a huge 7% increase next year alone.
Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?
This election is the most important in a generation. We need to end the Brexit uncertainty by delivering on the referendum result as fast as possible. Labour and the Lib Dems (and a small number of former Conservatives) have been delaying us too long now. The choice in all three Croydon seats is between the Conservatives and a Labour party that has been taken over by Marxists. A vote for any other party – Brexit Party, Lib Dems, UKIP, Green – risks letting Corbyn and McDonnell into power. Only the Conservatives can stop him. I also hope my record as an active, energetic and above all effective local MP speaks for itself.
Chris thank-you for the interview.