James Mustoe, the Cornwall Councillor for Mevagissey has said that he doesn’t think the EU elections should be happening, but that if they are, he will stand.
He is second on the list for the Conservative Party and one of two Cornwall councillors running for the South West region.
Speaking to Cornish Stuff, he said: “I don’t want these elections to be happening. I don’t think we should be here.
“If we are having them take place, I’ll put my name forward, I’ll run and I’ll go over and see what I can do to help resolve it.”
James has lived and worked in Cornwall and Devon all his life. He has been Cornwall Councillor for Mevagissey since 2014 and also currently works for Cornish MP Steve Double. He lives in St Austell with his wife Laura and two children.
James is a keen environmental campaigner, having led successful motions at Cornwall Council on banning the launches of balloons and sky lanterns and getting the Council to go paperless, and is currently leading on one calling for better management of Cornwall’s beaches.
Cllr Mustoe’s main policy for the Euro Elections is to get the UK out of the EU, something he thinks the UK should already have done.
He said: “I would say that my primary goal, and anyone who is getting elected’s primary goal, should be to make a smooth and orderly Brexit as soon as possible.”
He wants to see a smooth transition, particularly as the government’s shared prosperity fund replaces EU funding.
The fund won’t be announced until after the UK leaves the EU, but others have criticised its lack of clarity and been doubtful central government will provide the same amount of money for Cornwall as the EU does.
Cllr Mustoe said he would attend meetings and vote to protect Britain’s best interest, but that his main focus was leaving as soon as possible.
He admitted he thinks Theresa May’s deal “isn’t perfect”, but wants MPs to come to a consensus and fulfill manifesto pledges to take the UK out of the EU.
The Conservatives currently have two elected MEPs, although face competition from The Brexit Party, who arguably have a clearer message.
Asked whether he felt the Conservatives were in danger of losing to the Brexit Party, he said: “I think I can understand why people are frustrated and why people would consider voting for the Brexit Party.
“The reason that I would ask people not to vote for the Brexit Party is because they are very much a single issue party and, while I sympathise with that issue, there is more to life, to politics than that issue.”
Compared to them, he said he was “just a bloke from Mevagissey”, adding: “If you want to put in a protest vote be careful what you wish for because you might end up voting for someone who you don’t think has your best interests at heart.”
Cllr Mustoe will be on the panel for a Cornish Stuff Question Time style debate with other Euro election candidates at Falmouth University on May 8th. Free tickets available here. Other panelists are Rachel Johnson for Change UK, Jayne Kirkham, Labour; Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party; and a candidate from the new Brexit Party.
He currently works full time as well as holding a Cornwall Council seat. Because the European Parliament won’t sit for August, he said this wouldn’t be a problem.
If it went long than that, he said he “would have to consider”.
He added: “I have faith that we would be leaving. It’s not in the interests of anyone to prolong the uncertainty that’s the Brexit negotiations.”
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