I want to say a huge thanks to my fellow councillor Mark Dobson who is putting his faith in me and shares my belief that we need a hard-working local candidate who has a real record of delivering for the Labour Party and the constituency.
I’ve worked with Mark for many years and it would be difficult to find a more hard working, committed colleague. Not only did he win a seat off the Tories to become a great ward councillor for Garforth and Swillington, but he also has an extremely challenging job as Executive Member for Environment and he is also vice-chair of the constituency.
We need a candidate who will not only fight a good campaign that appeals to local people, but even more importantly as an MP will fight for Elmet and Rothwell in Westminster. It isn’t a decision that should be made lightly or quickly so I’ve taken my time to consider who will be the best person for the job.
We need a candidate who is rooted in local issues and will fight for what is right locally and nationally. A candidate who will fight for more power for the regions and local councils. A candidate who will fight to ensure all our local schools are excellent, not just a select few. A candidate who genuinely understands the local environmental and community impact of HS2 as well as the strategic benefits it could bring to the region. A candidate who knows from first-hand experience the devastating effect of benefit cuts on local people. A candidate who is already campaigning against and challenging Alec Shelbrooke.
I believe that Labour needs real working class candidates who are actually from our community to represent us in Parliament. Above all our choice of candidate should be a decision by local Labour members for local Labour members.
That candidate is Karen Bruce.
I’ve worked with Karen since she was a Garforth, Swillington and Methley councillor and I was chair of Garforth Residents’ Association in the early 2000s. We worked together in the fight to save Garforth and Rothwell fire stations and Karen impressed me with the energy, imagination and hard work she put into the successful campaign.
Karen always puts local people first and campaigns hard for Labour with a real record of achievement that includes winning back seats.