Peter Ashurst is the Labour Party candidate for the Esher and Walton seat at the upcoming General Election 2019 on December 12.

Mr Ashurst, 30, is a Walton resident and Labour Party campaigner.

As with other candidates for the seat, the Comet spoke with Mr Ashurst about his views and policies on a range of topics about Esher and Walton and beyond.

Quotes from his responses are reproduced below.

On reasons for running:

I believe there needs to be a Labour voice in this election. The Labour Party came second here in 2015 and 2017. I think our policies are the best on offer. It's really important we have a second referendum Brexit and the Labour Party are the only ones really offering that and I want the people of Esher and Walton to have a final say. In Surrey in general, we're really lucky that we've got a lot of beautiful environments around us and I think Labour's policies on tackling climate change and those kind of issues are best.

On living in Esher and Walton:

I've lived here for a few years now with my partner. It's a great place to live, being able to commute into London and having a slower pace of life, being so close to the Thames river too. We have a load of great restaurants and pubs and there is a great sense of community here.

On Brexit:

A lot of people are worried about Brexit and it's a huge issue in Esher and Walton which obviously voted to Remain. I think over the last few years people have been polarized on the Remain and Leave votes but we have to start coming together now. There are more important issues than Brexit. Climate breakdown is a big one and it definitely overshadows Brexit. But we're committed to having a second referendum between a Brexit deal that isn't going to crash the economy and Remain. We will put that back to the people to vote on so that we can get past this rather than have it imposed on us. We started this with a referendum and we should finish it with one.

On the biggest issue facing Esher and Walton:

I think the biggest issue facing everyone is the climate crisis. If we don't tackle it we are going to see a rise in flooding and Surrey is not safe from that. We have had serious flooding before and we've seen it in the North. It's about creating new jobs with Labour's Green New Deal or Green Industrial Revolution which would mean green apprenticeships. It's about protecting our environment, we're lucky here that we have all this nature nearby and I think that and the cost of living are the biggest issues.

On Labour's Green Industrial Revolution in Esher and Walton:

Here Labour's plans would look like a lot more installations of solar panels. Also sensible policies on single use plastics in the area. That's something I've campaigned on personally, trying to make our area free of single use plastics, to help and encourage local businesses to get on board with this. And putting pressure on any new home building in the area to make sure they are environmentally friendly and that best practices are followed.

On housing:

I think there is a case for building on brownfield sites* that are in our constituency but also looking at how we build houses too. Planning is not an issue for MPs specifically but I would be working with the council on this. At the local level it's about seeing what houses we can build. It's about looking at density in more urban areas including areas of the high street, rather than greener spaces.

NB: *A 'brownfield' site is previously built-on land that is no longer is use.

On the increase in foodbank use in Esher and Walton:

The Labour Party has a great policy on this. The Right to Food policy would look at food bank usage and aim to decrease it by 50 per cent in its first year of government. We would do that by setting up a Right to Food Committee to look at food banks usage where people are struggling and come up with responses to solve that problem. There will be a fund to go with that to make sure. There has been a serious rise in food bank usage in Esher and Walton and as an MP I would make sure as much of that fund as is needed would be brought towards Esher and Walton. We also need to raise awareness about this. We're one of the wealthiest boroughs in the UK and a lot of people I speak with don't know it's happening.

On first question at PMQs:

It would depend on who the Prime Minister is! One thing that affects us all is trains and bringing back guards on trains. A lot of people who live in Esher and Walton are commuting and I think making the train lines more secure is a big issue for a lot of people. With the rise in county lines crimes I think people are worried that the trains are now more dangerous a few incidents this year suggested that. I think this is a solvable issue and I would ask about that.

On the the transport and the SWR strikes:

I appreciate that the strikes are quite expensive and the length of them is disruptive. I think the conditions imposed on staff by SWR have been pretty poor and I support the right to strike. It's about making sure their working environment is that which was promised. I think Labour policies to nationalise the railways and making sure there are guards on trains would create that environment where people didn't need to strike. It's a real shame that it's come to this and it's a failure of SWR.

On personal favourites:

Book: Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)

Film: Leon / In Bruges

Music: David Bowie