In the run-up to the General Election on December 12, we are giving all the candidates in the two Oxford constituencies to opportunity to tell you, the electorate, why you should vote for them

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford East

Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson – what an awful choice! – I hear that on the doorstep more than anything else.

From Marston to Blackbird Leys, people are appalled by politicians, fed up with Brexit, and dismayed by underfunding of the NHS, our schools, our Council services.

Trust in politicians is so low because some have not kept their word. Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have all been guilty of that. They owe voters an apology.

I’m not a career politician. I’m standing to be Oxford East’s MP because I want to do politics differently. I can’t promise to solve all these problems. I don’t make promises I can’t keep.

I can promise to put the residents of Oxford East above my career and my party. That means backing a People’s Vote on a Brexit deal at every opportunity in Parliament. It means being a consistent, vocal supporter for remaining in the EU. That’s what most people here want.

I’m basing my campaign on five priorities:

1) Stopping Brexit

2) Tackling the climate crisis

3) Improving public services

4) Making Oxford more affordable

5) Mending our broken politics.

I’ve got a couple of pledges for each priority. These 10 pledges draw on the Liberal Democrat manifesto, to address problems Oxford residents face.

For example, I’ll support free childcare for all working families from nine months, to make it easier for parents to go back to work.

I’ll back a massive increase in social housing to help solve Oxford’s housing crisis, and make it easier for key workers to live here.

I’ll work with the Council to reduce Oxford’s traffic and improve air quality, cycling and public transport.

Once we’ve stopped Brexit, the climate emergency will be my top priority.

We need urgent action before it’s too late. I’ve spent years working on climate as a senior civil servant.

The Liberal Democrat plan is the best combination of ambition and realism to get Britain’s carbon emissions to net zero, and help other countries do so.

We can achieve that while improving our quality of life, for example by cutting heating bills.

So what, say some voters I meet – the Lib Dems aren’t going to win a majority. That may be true. But in a hung Parliament, we (and the SNP) could hold the balance of power.

What would we do? We wouldn’t go into coalition with Johnson’s Tories or Corbyn’s Labour.

That’s a clear commitment. We would vote for changes that matter most to the country.

That starts with a People’s Vote so everyone can decide between the best Leave proposal on the table – Johnson’s Brexit deal or Corbyn’s Brexit deal – and the best deal there is, which is staying in the EU.

Some voters worry they need to vote Corbyn to keep the Tories out. Don’t worry! The Tories can’t win here. They haven’t won more than 22% of votes in Oxford East in the last six general elections. They haven’t elected a Councillor here this century.

Only 4% of Oxford voters backed them in the European elections. You can vote Lib Dem without any risk of letting the Tories in. It’s a choice between Liberal Democrat and Labour.

Much as I like Anneliese Dodds, she has not spoken out enough for her constituents on the biggest issue of the day – Brexit.

Oxford’s residents – from the car workers of Cowley, to our overburdened NHS staff, to our researchers and entrepreneurs – are best served by staying in the EU.

I will stand up for your interests without reservation. A second Oxford Lib Dem MP could make all the difference in a hung Parliament. Please remember that when you vote.