Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford candidates have their say
The general election candidates for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford.
Yvette Cooper - Labour
“I’m the granddaughter of a miner, the daughter of a trade unionist, our three kids were born here in Pontefract and I’ve helped thousands of people across our area for twenty years.
I’m Yorkshire Labour - I believe in standing up for coalfield communities, Yorkshire and Britain. I’m backing desperately needed investment in our NHS, proper skilled jobs and workers rights. We need a fairer deal for working people round here. I voted for Article 50 to implement the Brexit referendum result.
This election isn’t about Brexit, that’s already decided, Theresa May is trying to get a landslide majority like Margaret Thatcher’s so the Tories can force through policies that hit our area like they did in the 1980s.
The Tories are already planning £5 million cuts to Five Towns schools to give to places like Tory Buckinghamshire in the south instead. I’m fighting these unfair plans as our children deserve better.
The Tories would also hit pensioners hard - with a means test for Winter Fuel Payments and an unfair dementia tax which means losing your home if you need long term care.
I’m campaigning for more police on the beat. I voted for Trident, I will always put public safety and national security first.
We need strong, experienced Yorkshire Labour voices in parliament to fight for our communities now.”
Daniel Gascoigne - Yorkshire Party:
“I have lived in Pontefract for my whole life until I moved to Leeds to go to University, (I didn’t fancy leaving Yorkshire, who can blame me?). Both sides of my family live in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford so I am your local candidate. More importantly however, I understand and passionately care about what happens in our corner of Yorkshire.
At 22 I admit I am a young candidate, but I have lived in Pontefract longer than our MP, and I’ve been here full time. Growing up in an area obviously ignored or taken for granted by the national parties was infuriating. My plan is to change this by standing to give Yorkshire a voice. Look at Scotland, the SNP dominate the news on Scottish issues. People there are voting for change and politicians in London now actually listen to what people in Scotland say. Yorkshire can do the same to have our voices heard. We deserve better: a fair Brexit deal for Yorkshire, better NHS and education funding. A vote for the Yorkshire Party is a vote for a party that truly cares about Yorkshire and the future for the people here.”
Clarke Roberts - Lib Dem:
“I recently attended events in Normanton and Pontefract, hosted by teaching unions, at which the impact of the severe cuts to the education budget were discussed; cuts to local schools, fewer teachers in our classrooms and larger class sizes. This cannot go on. The Liberal Democrats will reverse cuts to schools and add an extra £7 billion of funding and we will also keep the free school lunches for primary children, which we introduced when in government.
Our hospitals are also at risk. The Liberal Democrats believe that an honest approach is needed, which is why we are pledging to raise £6 billion through a penny on income tax. This money will be ring-fenced for the NHS and care system. I’m also committed to fighting a hard Brexit, which will damage the local economy and put jobs at risk. I will fight for our place in the Single Market and for the final say on the terms of the deal should be given to you, the people.
I am asking you to elect me because I care deeply about making the lives of ordinary people better, to see a country that is open, tolerant and united, rewards hard work and encourages everyone to reach their potential whilst helping those who are most in need.”
Lewis Thompson - UKIP:
“We need the rebel against the established elites of both Labour and Conservative and send a UKIP MP to Westminster to represent our constituency, rather than just more of the same old. UKIP does not operate a parliamentary whipping system. So unlike my Labour and Conservative opponents, if you elect me as your MP I will at all times be able to vote solely with the best interests of our constituency at heart, and not simply be forced to toe the party line.
My pledges are-
To tackle poverty in our towns so that no one has to sleep rough or have to visit food banks. As part of my election pledge I promise to donate 50 per cent of my salary to local charities and food banks.
To make sure that there is proper social care provision for all of our vulnerable and elderly.
For a full Brexit to ensure that people’s access to work, decent wages, housing, schooling and healthcare do not continue to be adversely impacted by the unlimited low skilled immigration which has been condoned and promoted by both the Labour and Conservative parties for so many years.”
Andrew Lee - Conservative:
The Express has not been able to reach Mr Lee for a comment.