The Liberal Democrat candidate for Dartford has said “now is not the time for business as usual” as he urged voters in the town to vote for change.

Dr Simon Beard will stand for MP in Dartford on June 8 for the second time having done so two years ago.

The philosopher at Cambridge, who has lived in north-Kent since he was 11, said there needs to be a change for Dartford to stop it being a regional “dumping ground”.

Speaking to the News Shopper, he said: “Dartford is a really interesting place but it has been forgotten for too long. It is seen as a place to dump stuff, but it has things dumped there, like the m25 and the Dartford Crossing.

“The big thing in this campaign is air pollution. Dartford has a real problem with air pollution, it is a real issue. It kills people and it is really damaging.

“A solution is public transport, I can’t drive so I rely on public transport but sometimes it is so slow it is quicker to walk.”

Speaking about national levels, the Liberal Democrat said that despite Dartford voting to leave in the referendum, many did not vote for the form of Brexit the Prime Minister is delivering.

He said: “The big thing is getting some more control back. Since the referendum Theresa May has been going about it her own way and this is the chance to change that.

“For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance.

“The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”

Dr Beard stood in 2015 and came fourth with 1,454 votes, nearly 9,000 votes less than UKIP gained to come third.

He added: “This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Dartford to change the direction of our country and ensure Britain has a decent opposition. Now is not the time for business as usual.”