The Conservative Party candidate for Sheffield Heeley has said that it is a “treat” to be able to fight against a socialist Labour Party in tomorrow’s election.
Gordon Gregory told South Yorkshire Briefing: “I am ideologically and fundamentally against socialism on principle.”
Gregory, a 35-year-old bowel surgeon, is hoping to defeat Labour’s Louise Haigh on polling day, and give Sheffield their first Conservative MP since 1997.
On the eve of the poll, he admitted that Theresa May hadn’t led the strongest of campaigns: “I don’t know how to judge it really. There isn’t a framework or metric to measure to judge how good a campaign is, even the result isn’t related to how good or bad the campaign is.
“I think Blair was somebody that campaigned better. She has done fine, she hasn’t excelled and hasn’t shone. She’s not had any moments where she’s been destroyed.”
The surgeon is an unapologetic advocate of the free-market, and said that May’s pledge to cap energy prices meant she was the most left-wing Conservative Prime Minister since Ted Health.
With a privileged insight into the NHS as a surgeon, he said that the recent junior doctors strike could have been solved quicker by the removal of collective bargaining ability by junior doctors.
“If you look the miners, the dockers all lost the right to bargain over pay collectively. It’s a throwback to the 1970’s left-wing Prices and Incomes policy, where the Government set the levels. They should be negotiated at a local level with the local health trust.”
“Corporation Tax is one of the most harmful taxes…”
Gregory has been a qualified surgeon since 2009, and was a single parent at the age of 21 with two children. “It was unexpected, I had got quickly married at the time. It was a tricky time trying to juggle the clinical study, work as a junior doctor and childcare,” he said.
He described his 16-year-old daughter, who has been helping him campaign, as “quite Thatcherite” who requested Charles Moore’s biography of the former-Prime Minister for her 14th Birthday. He himself recalls reading Plato’s Republic as a 12-year old.
As a Conservative candidate and a Brexit voter, he is following in his own family’s footsteps. His father ran in Stretford and Urmston in 1997, and his grandfather helped found the Anti-Common Market League.
He said he was particularly proud of the Conservatives record on lowering taxes, and slammed Labour’s policy on corporation tax as “one of the most harmful taxes that you can put into an economy.”
“It is a tax on the people who make those jobs. You can show economically that if you put a cost onto an employer, then it will be felt by the employee. There will be fewer jobs, and lower pay.”
As he aims to overturn a 13,000 majority held by Haigh and is bullish about his chances. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost, but it’s not impossible for me to win. I want to break people’s left wing bubbles by being out on the campaign trail, and make people question the deeply held beliefs they’ve been indoctrinated with of left-wing thinking.”