THE Conservative Party’s candidate to unseat Peter Kyle at the general election has refused to say how she voted in the EU Referendum.

Kristy Adams, 46, who is standing in Hove, told The Argus she did not campaign for either side but refused to be drawn on whether she personally voted Leave or Remain.

The Brighton-based businesswoman also refused to confirm whether her Christian faith led her to believe in miracles, after it was reported that seven years ago she was involved in a ‘faith-healing’ incident.

She called herself “Theresa May’s woman” and said Hove would be better represented by a Conservative who would “have the ear of ministers”.

Asked why she wanted to be the constituency MP, she said: “Because I want to represent my local area.

“My business and my family are here, and I think if we could get a Conservative in here we could work as a team to draw in business and infrastructure.”

Mrs Adams has a marketing role in her family property design business which has worked with builders in the city for 25 years.

She also works as a business consultant, which was her father’s profession.

Her mother was an A&E sister at the Princess Royal hospital in Haywards Heath.

She was educated at a comprehensive school in Cuckfield and then attended Brighton College.

After leaving school she went backpacking in Indonesia.

She said the experience taught her resilience and people skills, adding: “Backpacking is a way to connect with people from all walks of life.”

She was a local councillor in Bedford where she lived for 17 years and applied to 12 constituencies to fight the 2015 general election, coming second in Hove to Graham Cox who would go on to lose to Peter Kyle.

While Mr Kyle has been outspoken in his opposition to Brexit, Mrs Adams refused three times to answer directly how she voted in the referendum, saying only that she did not actively campaign for either side.

She also refused to be drawn on issues of faith.

She was, though, clear on her positions on fox hunting (against) and education, promising she would be a “bloody difficult woman” with the education department and would press for a review of the National Funding Formula which teachers have said will leave schools underfunded.

Mrs Adams suggested that the £69 million overspend at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust could be partly due to mismanagement.

She said it would be better to give newly-appointed boss Marianne Griffiths – brought in from Worthing where the NHS is in surplus – a year before making judgements.

She also said Jeremy Corbyn was “destroying democracy” and called him “the best gift the Conservative Party has been given.”


Why do you want to be an MP?

Because I want to represent my local area. My business and my family are here and I think if we could get a Conservative in here we could work as a team to draw in business and infrastructure.

Would you be a better MP than Peter Kyle?

Look at what you can achieve if you’re in the same team. I’ll be on Theresa May’s team. I’ll have the ear of ministers which will really serve us well.

Where do you stand on the Southern Rail dispute?

I think everyone has failed to serve the commuters. I think this should have been resolved much more quickly. I’m glad that we’re moving towards resolution but it’s been a total nightmare for local people.

Which way did you vote on Brexit?

I didn’t campaign for the outs and I didn’t campaign for the ins. I think we’ve got to look to the future and that’s what I’m about.

But how did you vote?

I’ve just said to you I didn’t campaign for the in team and I didn’t campaign for the out team.

But I asked which way you voted.

I’m not going to answer that question.

What would you do to protect Hove from the potential fallout from a hard Brexit?

I’ll want to contribute to make sure we don’t get high tariffs. On a practical level, in my house all my white goods are German. And that’s because they don’t break down. And my car is German. And it doesn’t break down.

So I think it’s in the best interests of Germany and other countries to make sure they get a good deal and we get a good deal.

Why do you think you’d be more effective than Peter Kyle in arguing for that?

I think you have more ability to influence change from the inside.

Who would make a more effective critic of Jeremy Corbyn – you or Peter Kyle?

I think Jeremy Corbyn is the best gift the Conservative Party has been given electorally in the last ten years. He is helping us to get elected. I think Peter Kyle has been very frank about his standpoint.

I think [Corbyn] is destroying democracy. Theresa May said to him, step aside. I’m concerned about democracy. We need a resilient opposition to get balance in politics.

How big a majority would you like the Conservatives to have in the House of Commons then?

I honestly haven’t thought about that.

[Last month the Daily Mirror reported that in 2010, Mrs Adams told an interviewer that the previous year she laid her hands on a deaf man and healed his hearing saying “be healed in Jesus’ name”] We should touch on religion. Were you quoted accurately by The Mirror?

Millions of Christians around the world pray every day to help people. I had asked for that article to be removed.

Does your faith lead you to believe that non-scientific medical miracles happen?

I’m not going to answer that question.

Do you believe the voting public has a right to know whether you believe in non-scientific miracles?

I don’t see it’s relevant to how I would serve public life.

Housing. The Conservatives want to relax planning rules. Would a special case be made for safeguards here?

Certainly protecting the national park is a priority, and conserving our green space. But as we look at potential developments on the fringes of Hove, I want to see green spaces within those helping the health and wellbeing of the people there. And I think infrastructure is key. So we must have roads in and out of those developments and enough school places and enough doctors’ surgeries.

Are you in favour of a tighter immigration policy?

I’ve always said I’d like to see an Australian-style points system. These people are really valuable and bring a whole skill set.

Would you let EU residents stay?

My heart syas yes, tell everyone they can stay. But we also need to guarantee UK citizens in Europe and it would just be a bit rookie.

Would you vote to bring back fox hunting?

I’ll be against the repeal of the ban. I’m an animal lover.

Do you acknowledge there is a funding crisis in our schools?

I’ll be lobbying the Government to review the funding formula. I talked to Nick Gibb about it and he said: “Are you going to be a difficult woman? Because Peter Kyle hasn’t been difficult.” I said: “yes I’m going to be really difficult.”

Is there a funding crisis in our NHS?

I think it’s difficult to tell locally until you’ve got very high quality leadership in place. So give newly-appointed Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals chief executive Marianne Griffiths some time.let’s see what happens and I’m happy to work to support her in any way I can.

There was a backlash by some when Peter Kyle voted for military action in Syria. How would you vote?

I couldn’t say that until we got to the time. I’d have to evaluate the facts. But I’d like to see our international aid as a budget figure not a percentage of GDP.

I’d scrap the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP. I’d like to see some of that money spent on adult social care, and some of it spent in schools and hospitals in Syria – let’s help them rebuild.

Do you think the Conservatives could win Brighton Pavilion?

I think all bets are off. I think it’s likely that people will choose Theresa over Jeremy Corbyn because she’s a strong leader and she brings stability in a time of change. I think many of us, as candidates, will be piggy-backing on her skills I think that I’m Theresa May’s woman.

Are you going to win Hove?

I would love to win Hove but I wouldn’t dare to predict it.