The Conservative candidate for Norwich North has reasserted his controversial beliefs about climate change.

Nick Rose, a 54-year-old army veteran from Buckinghamshire, is hoping to extend the Tories' 14-year control of the seat as Chloe Smith's replacement during next year's general election.

Ms Smith increased her majority to 4,738 votes in the 2019 election. Alice MacDonald will be standing for the resurgent Labour Party, which fell just 507 votes short of reclaiming the seat in 2017.

Norwich Evening News: MP Chloe Smith has held Norwich North since 2009MP Chloe Smith has held Norwich North since 2009 (Image: PA)

In an exclusive interview, Mr Rose outlines his vision for Norwich, explains why net zero is a "waste of money" and why we should stop "throwing money" at the NHS.

On climate change

Just hours after his selection last month, Mr Rose was facing calls from the Green Party to stand down over his suggestion that humans have not contributed to climate change. 

This is despite an overwhelming majority of the scientific community being in agreement that human activity is the primary driver of changes to Earth's climate.

"I would ask who paid the scientists for those reports," said Mr Rose. 

"Climate change is real and we must spend more on protecting ourselves against it.

Norwich Evening News: L-R: Nick Rose, Norwich South candidate David Thomas and prime minister Rishi SunakL-R: Nick Rose, Norwich South candidate David Thomas and prime minister Rishi Sunak (Image: Norwich Conservatives)

"But our planet has always gone through cycles and it's nothing to do with us driving our cars. That's an absolute con.

"How can humans be so arrogant to think we are making such a difference?

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"Net zero is nonsense and in a decade we will realise we have wasted trillions of pounds."

His background

Originally from Buckinghamshire, Mr Rose joined the military at 18 - serving in the infantry, intelligence corps and psychological operations. 

He did tours of Afghanistan and served "on and off" before retiring earlier this month.

Norwich Evening News: Nick Rose with Tory MP Jacob Rees-MoggNick Rose with Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg (Image: Norwich Conservatives)

"I made my money manufacturing high-tech products in Bournemouth," he said. 

"I did that for 25 years before becoming a Conservative councillor down there for four years. 

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"I'm now a children's author and landlord of both commercial and residential properties."

Why Norwich North?

"I have been coming here for 20 years for summer breaks, so I know Norwich very well," Mr Rose said. 

"My closest family live in Eaton. 

"My main priorities for Norwich North are jobs, education, health and transport.

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"I want us to think bigger and to make the city a hub for tourists. 

"We need more doctors and nurses and we need skilled service providers to stay here. 

"We also need to improve transport links to areas like Yarmouth and King's Lynn.

"The Labour city council keep blocking projects but we need to get things done. 

"Norwich is a beautiful city but there is a lot more that needs to be done."

Health crisis

Norfolk as a whole suffers from a shortage of NHS dentists and GPs - with the region's largest hospital, the N&N, also having some of the worst bed-blocking in the country.

When asked his views on whether the health service needed more money, Mr Rose said: "No, we need to stop throwing money at it.

"When you put money in, people get complacent and lose sight of what is going on. 

"You do your best when you've got less resources. 

Norwich Evening News: Nick Rose with education secretary Gillian KeeganNick Rose with education secretary Gillian Keegan (Image: Nick Rose)

"There are too many complicated systems now and workers are getting frustrated because they're not allowed to think outside the box. 

"We should go back to the 70s when there was a matron and health workers were able to have pride in what they did."

Tory in-fighting?

From the ousting of Boris Johnson to the latest cabinet reshuffle, Number 10 has seen a great deal of change in the last year. 

When asked his views on whether he believed the Tories were at risk of major in-fighting, Mr Rose said: "No, not at all. 

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"The Conservative Party wouldn't be the Conservative Party if MPs weren't complaining. 

"I think Boris Johnson is the greatest Tory leader of my adulthood. 

Norwich Evening News: Former prime minister Boris JohnsonFormer prime minister Boris Johnson (Image: PA)

"He brought us Brexit, the Covid vaccine and defended Ukraine.

"I voted for Liz Truss to be his successor because I believed in her Conservative values. I was sad to see her go. 

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"At the moment, I think the party needs someone like Rishi Sunak. 

"He's brilliant and has got a great attention to detail."

Reshuffle implications

"I'm a big fan of Suella Braverman," Mr Rose added. 

"I was sad to see her leave the Home Office.

"But I'm also a big fan of Rishi and the party needs this mix.

Norwich Evening News: Suella Braverman was sacked as home secretary earlier this monthSuella Braverman was sacked as home secretary earlier this month (Image: Norwich Conservatives)

"I think Suella was right to say the marches for Palestine were hate marches and she was right to say the police have double standards. I have seen this first-hand in Sussex and Dorset. 

"Police shouldn't be so concerned about this equality and diversity nonsense. It seems like sometimes they prefer to protect the rights of criminals compared to those they are trying to protect."