UKIP AND LABOUR START STOKE ON TRENT CENTRAL BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
The candidates for the United Kingdom Independence Party and Labour have begun their campaign to win the Stoke on Trent Central by-election on February 23rd
The new UKIP leader, Paul Nuttel, told BBC Radio Stoke that his party was prepared to pull off a ‘shock win’ whilst Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who knocked on doors with Gareth Snell, the former leader of Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council, told reporters that the campaign was ‘going well’
At stake is a traditional Labour safe seat, which has been held since the 1950s, and although this seat encompasses the city centre of Hanley and Shelton, long defined as the city’s university quarter. The city voted by a margin 69% to leave the EU, making it the ‘Brexit Capital of Britain’
The Conservatives have selected 25 year old Jack Beareton, the deputy leader of the Conservative group on the city council. Mr Beareton also stood as the constituency’s parliamentary candidate in the 2015 election, but lost to Labour’s Tristam Hunt, who triggered the by-election by resigning to take up the position of director at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Mr Bearton, speaking to Signal 2, said the following;
“This by-election has come at a crucial time for our country.
“It is an opportunity for the people of Stoke to send a message that the referendum result must be respected, and to back the Prime Minister’s clear plan to make a success of Brexit.”
The Liberal Democrats, hoping to capitalise on their recent win in the Richmond by-election and gains in the Conservative safe seat of Witney have selected Dr Zulfiphur Ali, a consultant cardiologist. Speaking to ITV Central, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, said the following
“Zulfiqar is an excellent local candidate who will give the people of the Potteries the representation they need.
“The Liberal Democrats will be fighting a really strong campaign in Stoke, and after our success in Richmond Park and winning over 20 council by-elections since May we are raring to go.”
The by-election will held on February 23rd.