Video: David Cameron’s big pitch for East Anglian voters as General Election draws ever closer

David Cameron visits Tending Technology College, Frinton

David Cameron visits Tending Technology College, Frinton

Prime Minister David Cameron pleaded with East Anglian voters to help return him to Downing Street during an emotional speech at Frinton on Sea in the Clacton seat that was lost to UKIP last year.

He warned that Labour had neglected the region in the past and would do so again in the future if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister in two weeks’ time.

Mr Cameron said: “East Anglia is only 80 miles from London, but Labour treated it as if it was 1,000 miles from London.

“The roads and the railways became among the worst in the country. It can take as long to get from London to Norwich as it does from London to Brussels.

“In their finances and their lives it was working people who suffered.

“What you’ve seen over the last five years is investment in infrastructure, investment in what the East of England needs. And you see a massive growth in the number of people in work, in the number of businesses operating.

“The East of England is on its way back. Let’s continue the work over the next five years.”

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Mr Cameron raised the spectre of Ed Miliband reversing the policies he said had improved the country – and warned that a Labour government supported by the SNP would have no interest in the East of England.

One of the major issues flagged up in the Suffolk Says survey earlier this week was the need for more affordable housing – both for first-time buyers and those looking to rent.

Mr Cameron said the government’s help to buy schemes would ease this by encouraging smaller new homes to be sold for 80% of their value to people aged under 40 – a scheme from which buy to let purchasers were excluded.

But he rejected a suggestion that tenants of private landlords should enjoy the right to buy that he wants to extend to Housing Associations.

Mr Cameron said: “We want to ensure that we have a good and strong private rental market and the suggestion (of extending right to buy) certainly would not deliver that. I think it would shrink it and take it right back.

“I’ve got a better idea. We’re going to built 200,000 starter homes and these homes will be marketed at 80% of the market price and they will be for people under the age of 40 – homes that you can buy and own we are going to explicitly rule out buy to let landlords or foreign property investors from buying these houses.

“I also think we need to explain why selling housing association properties to their tenants is such a strong idea.”

After pledging that the government would contribute £5 million towards a study into the future of the A120 from Braintree to Marks Tey and on to Harwich, Mr Cameron said money would be found if there was a positive outcome to that.

He said: “There is money in the roads programme for projects that meet the right criteria. So if the study comes out positive there is no reason to think why this could not get going relatively quickly.”

He left his audience with a clear message: “We are on the brink of something very big in our country. I was in Brussels yesterday. 27 other countries around the table – we’ve created more jobs in Britain than the other 27 put together!”

See more election coverage here

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