Garforth and Swillington councillor Mark Dobson backs Karen

Mark Dobson

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.

Mark Dobson, Karen Bruce and David Nagle at Rothwell Country Park

Tom Murray, Garforth and Swillington councillor and Lord Mayor of Leeds

Tom Murray, Garforth and Swillington councillor and Lord Mayor of LeedsI’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of support that I’ve been receiving from local members and councillors across the constituency.

One that means a lot to me personally is from Garforth and Swillington councillor Tom Murray who has just started doing a fantastic job as Lord Mayor of Leeds. I first knew Tom as one of my own local councillors who I went campaigning with and later when I was elected as a councillor I  had the privilege as serving as his ward colleague.

“I fully support Karen to be our Parliamentary Candidate at the general election. I’ve worked with Karen for more than 15 years and as a fellow councillor for Garforth, Swillington and Methley I’ve seen at first hand her hard work, passion and enthusiasm. Not only will she be an outstanding campaigner, but even more importantly she won’t back down in Westminster when fighting for what’s best for local people.

With her local knowledge and experience, coupled with her political, personal and work life experience, she is uniquely qualified to represent local people. Over the years she’s evidenced how committed she is to local people. I’ve seen how passionate and caring she is about social justice, inequality and creating opportunity.

I have seen her grow over those years and I was delighted when she beat the Lib Dems in Rothwell and I believe she now has the necessary experience needed to represent us in Parliament. Karen understands the problems that families in our constituency face because she, Stuart and Esme are one of those local families.”

Elmet and Rothwell endorsement from former GMB trade union convenor

Local Labour Party and trade union members are coming forward to endorse Karen as the best candidate in Elmet and Rothwell to beat Alec Shelbrooke at the next general election.

Bob DysonRecently retired GMB Trade Union Convenor at Leeds City Council, and local Rothwell Labour Party member, Bob Dyson said:

“A good local councillor who knows the constituency like Karen is just what we need to beat the Tories and win Elmet and Rothwell back for Labour.”

Karen Bruce seeks selection as Labour candidate in Elmet and Rothwell for 2015 general election

Karen Bruce speaking at Labour Party conferenceI’m humbled and honoured that local Labour Party members and councillors have asked me to stand as Labour’s candidate for Elmet and Rothwell in the 2015 general election and want to let you know that I’ve decided to stand for selection.

We don’t yet know what the timetable will be, but over the next few weeks I want to meet every single local party member to talk about how we win Elmet and Rothwell back for Labour.

As I live in Rothwell, in the constituency, and am a councillor here, I believe that I’m in the strongest position to beat the Conservatives. In fact because of council ward boundary changes I’ve actually been a councillor in three out of the five four council wards that make up the constituency as I used to represent Garforth, Swillington and Methley. I’ve also lived in both Methley and Swillington. This gives me a unique local knowledge and experience.

Elmet and Rothwell is a seat that Labour must win if we are to beat the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. I know just how hard that fight will be and I’m more than up for the challenge. Since I won the first council seat back off the Liberal Democrats in 2011 we’ve won a second so there is only one left in the constituency. However, we still have a strong base of Conservative councillors that highlight the challenge that we’ve got.

I already use this blog and my Twitter account to take on the Liberal Democrats here in Rothwell and also to challenge Alec Shelbrooke MP our local Tory MP in Elmet and Rothwell. You’ll be seeing even more of that over the next few weeks as we can’t put fighting the Tories and Lib Dems on hold while we decide who Labour’s candidate will be.

I’ve also set up a Karen for Elmet and Rothwell Facebook page that initially I’ll mainly use to have conversations with Labour Party members so that I can build a strong campaign platform to beat Alec Shelbrooke.

I’ll be contacting the local Labour Party members who already know me (and that’s most of you!)  shortly to arrange a good time to meet. But in the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by texting 07534 822479 or using the contact form.

UPDATE: Quick thanks to Alec Shelbrooke MP for pointing out the typo where it should have said five wards, not four!

UPDATE 2: Added photograph so that the post will display properly in the featured posts list.