The Magisterial Candidate

The newly selected Conservative candidate for Hastings & Rye is chairman (sic) of Bexhill and Battle Conservative Association and has represented the ward of Eastern Rother (the parishes of Camber, East Guldeford, Iden, Peasmarsh, Playden and Rye Foreign) on Rother District Council since 2015. She was brought up in the north east of England, but lives in Udimore. 

As district councillor she discloses no paid employment, trade or profession on her own part, but has registered her husband Adam’s interests as partner of London Bridge Capital Partners LLP, who are corporate finance advisors, and of FDP LLP, a film finance enterprise, also as director of TV shopping retail company Hochanda.

Cllr Hart herself is a former corporate solicitor with Hallett & Co in Ashford, but has sat as a magistrate in Hastings for the past 15 years. She is on the governing body of three Ark Academy schools (Little Ridge, Blacklands and Castledown academies).

In her pitch to the Hastings & Rye party members last Friday evening she described herself as “not a career politician”, which some took to be a deliberate distancing from previous incumbent Amber Rudd. However she contested the seat of North West Durham for the Conservatives at the 2017 General Election, making quite a boast of having increased the Tory share of the vote there from 23 per cent to more than 34 per cent. She also sought her party’s candidacy in Canterbury earlier this year.

She told her audience that her priorities were to “deliver” Brexit, but also to invest in schools and health, protect the environment, and promote transport links and the local economy.

It was her experience as a magistrate in Hastings, however, which seems to have convinced many that she was suited to represent the town. 

At a district council debate in September on a motion to declare a climate emergency and pledge to make the district carbon neutral by 2030, which was passed unanimously, she said: “It is absolutely imperative that every single one of us takes responsibility, in whatever way we can, to reduce carbon emission and to take care of our world. Our environmental conservation counts.” However, she also expressed concern that businesses needed to be “protected”.

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