Wakefield local elections 2021: George Galloway's Workers Party of Britain stands in the district for the first time

A new fringe left-wing movement led by the controversial former MP George Galloway is standing for election in Wakefield for the very first time.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 10:14 am

The Workers Party of Britain has put toxic tips and toilets at the forefront of its local conversations, as it fields two candidates in the Altofts and Whitwood and Normanton wards.

One of them, Zane Carpenter, wants a public toilet to be reinstated in Normanton and for waste tipping at the nearby Welbeck site to become a thing of the past.

Mr Carpenter said: "Very little money gets spent around the Normanton and Altofts area. These parts tend to get the rough end of things.

Former Labour and Respect Party MP George Galloway founded the Workers Party of Britain at the end of 2019.

"Trying to find a public toilet round here - we haven’t had one for years.

"That's unless you want to go into the swimming baths or the doctors and going anywhere like that isn’t easy at the moment."

The Welbeck site has been a bone of contention for local people for all of the waste tip's 23 year life.

Zane Carpenter is standing for the party.

But Mr Carpenter said he remained "sceptical" about that pledge given it had originally been expected by 2008 and then again by 2018, before the site's tenants were twice granted more time to run it as a tip.

He said: "We’ve still got toxic waste coming from all over the country.

"I was quite young when they first started saying that (pledging a country park), it was a long time ago!

"The only good thing about it was that people could take their own rubbish there, but they got rid of that.

"They (the council) know most people don’t want it."

"Labour have been running the council for as long as anyone can remember and I don't think they've done a very good job.

"Look at what the Tories have done running the country. You’re only given a choice of whichever is the least worst between Labour and the Tories."

Mr Carpenter also bemoaned the lack of public transport links running to and from the area, claiming that Normanton had gone from once being "one of the biggest railway centres in the country" to "having one little branch line running from Leeds to Sheffield".

The Workers Party of Britain was founded by Mr Galloway after the 2019 General Election.

A vision statement on its website embraces Brexit, denounces the Labour Party for remaining "committed to capitalism" and suggests its former leader Jeremy Corbyn, "Was harangued as an anti-Semite in a disgraceful campaign of Goebbelsian fiction".

The party has also gone on record to defend former Labour members Chris Williamson and Ken Livingstone.

Former Derbyshire MP Mr Williamson was suspended by the party after saying Labour had been "too apologetic" over anti-Semitism, while former London mayor Mr Livingstone resigned his membership after being accused of making anti-Semitic comments.

Mr Carpenter stood by the Workers Party's position and insisted both men had done nothing wrong.

He said: "People aren't questioning this narrative that's been put to them from the centre. They all play the same game, whether it's Labour, the Tories, the Lib Dems or even the Greens.

"They will still push out this view of the world that doesn't live up to our experience.

"It's people wanting to just beat you politically without wanting to have the argument."

This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will be published on our websites in turn in the run-up to polling day.

Workers Party of Britain candidates standing by ward (you can view the names of all candidates standing in your area here)

Altofts and Whitwood - Zane Carpenter

Normanton - Marcus Whalley-Reid

Local Democracy Reporting Service