ILKLEY’S Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Kris Hopkins has described the Conservative General Election manifesto – launched by Theresa May in Halifax earlier today – as a “detailed policy platform for a responsible and serious Government.”

Mr Hopkins, who will be defending his home seat for the second time on 8 June, said: “Unlike Labour’s manifesto, which is a wish-list of hard left, uncosted aspirations that the country cannot afford, the Conservative manifesto represents a detailed policy platform for a responsible and serious Government.

“Following last year’s referendum when a majority of voters decided that we should leave the European Union, the United Kingdom faces great challenges in the months and years ahead. That requires strong leadership and a Government with a clear vision of the country we want to become after Brexit.

“That must include an even better NHS and I am delighted that a new Conservative Government is now committed to increasing NHS spending by at least £8 billion in real terms over the next five years, delivering an increase in real funding per head of population for every year of the Parliament. A long-term plan to make the social care system fundamentally fairer, better funded and more sustainable will also be brought forward to ensure that older people receive the standards of care they rightly expect.

“I have received many recent representations from parents in Keighley and Ilkley concerned about funding for local schools. I have shared these personally with relevant Government ministers and am therefore particularly pleased that the Conservative manifesto now includes a firm commitment to increase the overall schools budget in England by £4 billion in real terms by 2022 to ensure that no school has its budget cut as a result of the new funding formula.

“Pensions will continue to rise in line with earnings or in line with inflation – whichever is highest.

“Taxes will stay low and reduced where possible, both for families and for businesses, and energy prices will be capped.

“And, in sharp contrast to Labour, a new Conservative Government will work to reduce and control the number of people who come to this country from inside and outside the EU.

“The choice at the General Election is crystal clear. With the Brexit negotiations about to gather pace, do we want to live in a country led by Theresa May with a clear roadmap to a secure and more prosperous future for all?

“Or do we want to risk everything we have achieved over the last seven years by handing the keys of 10 Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn with his hard left policy agenda and a guarantee of economic catastrophe?

“I look forward to the final three weeks of the campaign and the opportunity to speak with voters across Keighley and Ilkley about the overwhelming need for a new Conservative Government to be elected on 8 June.”