GENERAL ELECTION 2017: Labour’s Hitchin and Harpenden candidate John Hayes gives his verdict on his campaign ahead of tonight’s vote being called

Labour's John Hayes on the campaign trail in Hitchin last month. Credit: Layth Yousif

Labour's John Hayes on the campaign trail in Hitchin last month. Credit: Layth Yousif - Credit: Archant

Labour’s Hitchin and Harpenden candidate John Hayes has spoken to the Comet this evening giving his views on his campaign as we wait for the vote to be announced.

Mr Hayes, has attracted plaudits for the passionate and effective campaign he ran in Peter Lilley’s seat.

Speaking exclusively he analysed the last six weeks at the end of a long and exhausting campaign, saying: “I’m exhausted but I’m enthused by the way our party has worked together, not to menton the positivity and enthusiasm, and the number of new members we’ve recruited.

“Many people have got politically active who hadn’t been politically active previously, people who’ve been prepared to go out in all weathers to spread our message with leaflets and knock on doors – it’s been fantastic.” Making reference to the growing criticism of Conservative leader Theresa May’s faltering leadership he explained: “The feedback I’ve had on the doorstep is that her leadership has been looking increasingly weak and wobbly. She’s stopped using strong and stable hasn’t she?

“It’s been a real miscalculation to refuse to debate Jeremy Corbyn. I think that’s gone done very, very badly with the electorate. I think if she had even debated him and lost rather than just refuse to do so.” Paying tribute to his large team of supporters he said: “It’s been fantastic. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has backed me and helped me and helped me campaign across Hitchin and Harpenden.

“I’ve fronted it and it’s been an absolute privilege to do so. But I couldn’t have done it without so many people behind me doing lots of legwork every day.”

Reflecting on the Hitchin and Harpenden hustings – where he was adjudged by many to have been the outstanding performer – he added: “I thoroughly enjoyed the hustings. As a Labour party we just had better arguments to put. And it was easy to put that case across. It made sense. And it was good fun.”

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