12:18PM, Saturday 29 April 2017
High Street shoppers in Maidenhead were surprised by a visit from the Prime Minister this morning as she launched her campaign for re-election to her Maidenhead seat she has held since May 1997.
Theresa May MP shook hands with constituents, talked to them about Brexit and posed for selfies.
As soon as she left her chauffeur-driven car flanked by security, she was surrounded dozens of people who had been out shopping in the town centre.
“People have an opportunity to meet me, to ask me questions, as they have been doing,” she said.
“This is a really important general election. It’s a general election where we want to see people voting in the national interest, because I really believe that every vote for me and my team is a vote that strengthens my hand in those Brexit negotiations.
“It’s been very good.”
She progressed slowly up the street, taking plenty of time to meet constituents.
Sheryl Mendoza, 30, from near Blackamoor Lane, managed to get a selfie with the PM and her daughter, three-year-old Regina.
“It was great. It was fantastic to meet her,” she said.
Her partner, John Meizoso, a 46-year-old teacher looked on as the PM moved further up the street.
“She is a lovely person,” he said. “She relates very well to people. As an MP, she is just great. She always has been.”
The leader of the Royal Borough, Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), said: “It’s fantastic. She’s an excellent MP for Maidenhead.
Asked about the strong polls the Tories have had throughout the early stage of the campaign, Cllr Dudley said: “We are going to work very hard.
We won’t take anything for granted.”
The PM also took a moment to speak to Carly Grimster, 29, of Fane Way, who was running a High Street stall for WOOP, an initiative that promotes opportunities and helps set people up with work experience.
WOOP, which stands for Worlds of Opportunity and is run by Adviza, a learning and work charity, is part funded by the European Union’s European Social Fund. Ms Grimster said: “I explained about the workshops that we’re offering. She was really positive, she understood the local economy.”
She added: “I think it is inevitable that Brexit probably will affect future funding from the European Social Fund and they have been brilliant in what they’ve done for us. We only have these opportunities because of that funding.”
Not everyone was pleased to see the Mrs May. One bystander heckled her over her change of position over Brexit - she had campaigned for Remain - shouting the area had voted to stay in the EU and all those supporting her were ‘turncoats’.
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