Battle lines drawn in build-up to next year’s election

Philip Allott has been elected as Conservative candidate to fight for the Halifax seat in 2015.
Philip Allott has been elected as Conservative candidate to fight for the Halifax seat in 2015.

As Parliament resumed this week following its summer recess, politicians in Calderdale have already started making their voices heard over key issues in next year’s general election.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halifax, Philip Allott has said he will be taking on Labour MP Linda Riordan over the economy, education and law and order.

Mr Allott has said he will be speaking at the Conservative Party Conference later this month on raising academic standards.

He said: “I’ll be pressing the case for a sixth form college in Halifax to cover academic qualifications.

“We’ve got some very good vocational provision, but we need to raise the standard for those wishing to study academic subjects.”

Mr Allott has said that law and order will be one of his top priorities, and said he will not shy away from dealing with extremism in our communities.

He said: “We can’t have the war of the Middle East fought on the streets of Halifax - I’m not prepared to tolerate that.

“There are always bad people in the community whatever their ethnicity and the majority of our population are good law-abiding citizens.

“However, if anyone who breaks the law then the law has got to intervene and show its teeth.”

Mr Allott said he was concerned that issues such as the conflict in Israel were leading to civil disobedience in Halifax and worries that some of those petitioning for Gaza are using the issue to promote other agendas.

Mr Allott has also said he would like to have a public debate with Mrs Riordan on issues of education, employment and the economy, but ruled out a debate on the future of local NHS services.

He said: “I genuinely don’t feel it’s necessary for us to have a debate about the NHS because we’re both fighting to keep the A&E open, and there’s certainly a united front between all the political parties.”