Wakefield Conservatives and Labour candidates – 2 frontrunners in red wall seat
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The Wakefield by-election will see Labour and Conservatives fight for a key constituency that turned blue for the first time in 90 years in 2019. The results will be used as a key indicator of the Prime Minister’s popularity in the so-called ‘red wall’ after surviving a vote of confidence from his MPs earlier this month. Who are the two main candidates?
Nadeem Ahmed – Conservative
Nadeem Ahmed has been a Conservative councillor in Wakefield since 2006.
A full throated Boris backer, Mr Ahmed has stuck by the beleaguered Prime Minister throughout the party gate scandal
He has been described by the party chairman Oliver Dowden as a “a strong local voice for Wakefield, helping us level up there and across the whole United Kingdom”.
He recently apologised over using a Harold Shipman analogy about trusting the Tory party.
Following the conviction of his predecessor MP Imran Ahmad Khan for sexually assaulting a minor, Mr Ahmed said he was “one bad apple” and “we still trust GPs after Harold Shipman killed hundreds of people”.
Mr Ahmed said: “The comments and the analogy were incorrect, and in hindsight looking back at it, they were wrong and I apologise because it will have caused offence to the victims of that named person.
“The point I was trying to make was the idea that people need to trust or should have trust in politicians.”
Labour – Simon Lightwood
Simon Lightwood, the Labour candidate, is a member of the party’s national policy forum and works for the NHS. He also sits on Yorkshire Labour’s regional board.
Speaking on the campaign trail, he said he had lived in the area for ten years, originally heralding from South Shields.
Mr Lightwood has said he grew up in poverty and has used his humble beginnings to connect with local voters.
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He said: “I remember seeing file demands coming through the letterbox and my parents trying to stop us from seeing them.
“We eventually lost our home. With no council houses available we went to live with my grandmother in a tiny two-bedroom house. There were seven of us.”
Mr Lightwood has explained he will be able to take his understanding of struggle right to Westminster.
He said: “I’m not just saying the words. I’ve walked in their shoes. I was on free school meals.
“People just really want someone to help them and someone to give them a voice again, they’ve had nobody representing this area for over a year, and they want something to stick up for them. And that’s what I intend to do.”
Who is else standing in the Wakefield election?
- Akef Akbar (Independent)
- Paul Bickerdike (Christian Peoples Alliance)
- Mick Dodgson (Freedom Alliance)
- Sir Archibald Stanton Earl ‘Eaton (Monster Raving Loony)
- Jayda Fransen (Independent)
- Jordan Gaskell (Ukip)
- David Herdson (Yorkshire Party)
- Therese Hirst (English Democrat)
- Christopher Jones (Northern Independence)
- Jamie Needle (Liberal Democrats)
- Ashley Routh (Green)
- Ashlea Simon (Britain First)
- Chris Walsh (Reform UK).
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