On 21st December 2016, Jamie Reed announced that he would be resigning as Labour’s MP for Copeland, in order to take up a new role as Head of Development and Community Relations at Sellafield, a local nuclear decommissioning site. This sparked a by-election, to be held on February 23rd 2017.
We are currently doing coverage of the by-election, with a detailed insight of the issues raised, what the results show and what it means for political parties.
Let us first look at the candidates who are standing:
Conservative, Trudy Harrison.
Harrison has led local campaigns to bring new life into her community. She has worked at Copeland Borough Council and at Sellafield and is focused on supporting local nuclear industry.
Labour, Gillian Troughton.
Troughton is a borough and county councillor, as well as a local health activist and orthopaedic surgeon. Troughton campaigned to remain in the European Union and is supported by Unison. Her main focus is to be “pro-nuclear”.
UKIP, Fiona Mills.
Mills is the Chair of UKIP Cumbria and a member of the UKIP NEC. She is also a Chartered Accountant at the Cumberland Infirmary. She is prioritising nuclear services and Brexit – having backed the leave campaign.
Liberal Democrats, Rebecca Hanson.
Hanson is a Cockermouth Town Councillor and local health activist. She is opposed to the Success Regime and is fighting to save maternity services at Whitehaven Hospital. Her main election issues are “health, Brexit and local economy”.
Green Party, Jack Lenox.
Lenox is from Keswick. His main policy is to oppose nuclear power and to look into offering a safe energy future with increased investment in renewables. Lenox also prioritises flood defences for West Cumbrian homes.
Independent, Roy Ivinson.
Ivinson is a market stall holder from West Cumbria. He is standing to deal with the effects of climate change that he says will have a large impact on West Cumbria, particularly rising sea levels.
Independent, Michael Guest.
Guest is an independent Copeland borough councillor who is a believer in Co-Operative values and politics as a vocation. He believes the only thing wrong with British politics and politicians is party politics itself.
— Voting Counts (@VotingCountsUK) February 4, 2017