The General Election is now less than a week away, when millions of people will flock to their local polling stations to vote, including thousands in Greenwich and Woolwich.

The seat has been in Labour’s hands since its inception in 1997, and in the hands of Labour candidate Matthew Pennycook since 2015.

But this year features a busy line-up, with representatives from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, Green Party and independents.

So we’ve taken a look at this year’s main candidates, and quizzed them about their policies and beliefs.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is controlled by Labour, and 64.3% of the constituency voted to remain in the European Union.

Matthew Pennycook - Labour

News Shopper:

Biggest issues - In your opinion, what are the three biggest issues facing Greenwich and Woolwich?

The three biggest local issues in the constituency are:

• A shortage of genuinely affordable housing to rent and buy.

• Overstretched public services.

• Overcrowded and frequently unreliable public transport.

Defining policy - What would you describe as your defining policy?

Far too many local families are forced to live in overcrowded or unsuitable conditions, while thousands more struggle to afford their rent and service charges. More genuinely affordable homes to buy and rent, better protection for private renters and reform of the leasehold system would make a huge difference to thousands of local residents.

The NHS - Regarding the recent pressures on local NHS services, particularly the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, what would you change or improve?

Our local health services are under immense pressure. They urgently need investment but also reform to ensure more collaboration, cooperation and integration within a framework that promotes transparency and oversight. Locally, the Queen Elizabeth requires investment to overhaul a site that is inadequate and itself often contributes to poor quality care.

Silvertown Tunnel - What is your stance on the Silvertown Tunnel project?

I’m a longstanding opponent of the Silvertown Tunnel. It is an ill-conceived scheme and we deserve smarter, more imaginative and more sustainable solutions to cross-river connectivity in South East London.

Brexit - How will you or your party’s stance on Brexit help Greenwich and Woolwich?

My party's stance on Brexit will give the people of Greenwich and Woolwich the final say on the matter, offering them the choice between an EU exit that would guarantee a close future relationship and staying in the EU. I will personally once again campaign to remain.

What is your favourite thing about your constituency?

The people. They make it what it is and I’m constantly inspired by their energy, creativity and potential.

Rhian O'Connor - Liberal Democrats

News Shopper:

Defining policy

Our defining policy is “Stop Brexit”, because we want to stop talking about Brexit, and get on with fixing these critical issues.


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has a special place in my heart as my children were born there. I have seen first-hand the impact of cuts. We propose a dedicated 1% tax increase, to fund the NHS properly. This includes investments in Mental Health and Social Care, which will reduce pressure on other services.

Silvertown Tunnel

I have campaigned tirelessly for clean air, including against cruise ships mooring with no onshore power and against Silvertown Tunnel. The Liberal Democrats were the first to campaign against this, and we were deeply disappointed when Sadiq Khan signed the final go-ahead for this project.


Stopping Brexit would lead to a £50bn boost to national income, which we would spend on a brighter future for everyone. This would include (nationally) building at least 100,000 homes for social rent annually, and investing £500m on services to address youth violence – all of which are needed here locally.

At the last national election - the Euros in May - Lib Dems won the vote in Greenwich & Woolwich with 29%. We expect to show we are THE party for those who wish to Stop Brexit.

Favourite thing?

Having lived in this constituency for twelve years, my favourite thing is the people. Locals are all welcoming, quirky and diverse.

Thomas Turrell - Conservatives

News Shopper:

Biggest issues

1. Crossrail: On time and on budget under the Conservatives, now under Labour it’s millions over budget with no completion date. I’ll campaign to ensure that Crossrail is delivered - no more delays, no more excuses.

2. More Police: We will get Greenwich & Woolwich our fair share of the 20,000 new officers.

3. Cash for schools: The school I attended failed OFSTED, so I welcome the £14 billion cash boost to give our children the best start.

Defining policy

A fairer deal for renters: I’ve been a London renter for 10 years and want to make renting fairer; building on the Conservative's record of banning excessive fees, capping deposits and our plans to end no fault evictions.


I’ll ensure we get our share of the Conservatives record £33.9 billion NHS investment at QE. We need a strong economy to support a strong NHS.

Silvertown Tunnel

We need more east London crossings. While welcome, the Silvertown Tunnel is a missed opportunity to extend the DLR to Kidbrooke. It was short-sighted of the London Mayor to not proceed with the Belvedere Bridge which would have reduced demand on crossings in Greenwich.


It’s not about Leave or Remain, it’s do we respect the vote or not. I want our country to move forward, not continue to dither, delay and squabble. Let’s get Brexit done and focus on policing, our NHS and schools.

Favourite thing

The hidden gems, like the Fan Museum (Disclosure, biased opinion as that's where I had my wedding reception!) which help create such special characteristics for each community.

Victoria Rance, Green

News Shopper:

Biggest issues

1. In the nearly 28 years that I have lived here I have witnessed massive overdevelopment, too many flats and houses being built which are not for the benefit of our community. The Green Party would empower local authorities to bring empty homes back into use and to create a total of 100,000 new homes for social rent (council homes) per year.

2. Too many families are forced to rely on food banks. As you informed us in this paper there has been a 39% increase in food bank use since last year according to Trussell Trusts figures. We need a better welfare system, and we propose a universal basic income so no one need go hungry.

3. Overdevelopment leads to a disrespect for our natural environment. The climate emergency demands a new respect for our wildlife, and we must all learn to love it, encourage it and live respectfully alongside it.

Defining policy?

Nothing matters more than the climate emergency.

This existential threat affects all of us, but puts poorer populations most at risk. We are in danger of the natural world breaking down with unforeseeable affects, and we must act now. In Greenwich flooding and a breach of the Thames Barrier for example is a real danger. The New Green Deal proposed by Caroline Lucas in 2008 must urgently be put into practice. This may be our last change to act, as our children realise, and are trying to tell us urgently. I want to fight for a safer future for them.


The Green Party aims to increase funding for the NHS by at least £6 billion per year each year, until 2030 (a 4.5% increase on the 2018/2019 NHS Budget), and spend a further £1 billion a year in nursing higher education, allowing for nursing bursaries to be reinstated. We would also roll back privatisation and repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

Silvertown Tunnel

This year I formed and led the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition following on from the previous campaign with the help of many dedicated people. Most of my time and energy for the last seven months has been spent fighting to stop this massively toxic project. It which will only worsen congestion southbound in the evenings, and bring new polluting traffic especially bigger HGVs into the borough and past our homes and schools.


The Green Party want to have a second referendum on the deal, a people’s vote. We will at the same time campaign clearly for Remain and the benefits of the EU. We believe there are causes to do with social justice and austerity which have brought the country to this horribly divided state, and these need addressing.

Favourite thing

I was born in the countryside and I love our green spaces, the heath, the parks, the river, the Eco Park, Deptford Creek and the wildlife which I love to watch and draw. And I admire so much the amazing people who work tirelessly to defend them and keep them available for us all to enjoy.

There are three other candidates running in Greenwich and Woolwich. These are the Brexit Party's Kailash Trivedi, Christian Peoples Eunice Odesanmi from Christian Peoples and Shushil Gaikwad, who is running independent. Whilst we have not recieved a response from these three candidates, you will be able to vote for them on December 12.