General Election 2019: Rundown on the candidates for Halifax
Economic growth, improved transport links, climate change, and Brexit are the main talking points for candidates up and down the country, and topics for debate in the Halifax constituency mirror those nationally.
After first becoming Labour MP for Halifax in 2015 by just 428 votes, two years later Holly Lynch had a majority of 5376 over Conservative candidate Chris Pearson with a total of 25,507 votes.
This time round there is a new Halifax Conservative candidate Kashif Ali.
The two major party candidates will hope to overturn pressure from the constituency’s other three prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs).
For the second election in a row, the Liberal Democrats have put forward candidate and Warley councillor James Baker.
Campaigning for the Brexit Party is candidate Sarah Wood, who will hope to become the next Halifax MP in order to respect the majority of the UK which voted Leave during the 2016 EU Referedum.
Bella Jessop, who is the youngest candidate at 22 years old, will be flying the flag for the Green Party.
The General Election count for both the Calder Valley and Halifax constituencies starts at 10pm, in the North Bridge Leisure Centre on North Bridge Street, Halifax.
Here are the candidates:
Holly Lynch (Labour)
Standing in her third election within four years, Labour candidate Holly Lynch said: “I was first elected as the MP for my hometown in 2015 and it’s been an eventful time in politics since then.
“At a time when people are feeling left behind, I feel more strongly than ever about the type of society we need to build. One that works for working people, where public services are fit for purpose, with properly funded schools, hospitals and enough police officers to keep us safe.
“I’ve changed the law to better protect our brave emergency services with the Protect the Protectors campaign, which is not easy as an opposition MP. I’ve secured funding for flood defences, I’ve worked across our community to make us a Fairtrade Town and I’ve presented bills on both flooding and better wages for young workers.
“While there’s still much more to do, I’m proud of my record.
“I stand up for us in Westminster to those like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, and my team and I have worked on over 17,000 pieces of local casework assisting those who need the support.
“I understand the outcome of the referendum, but I need to see a deal which works for local businesses, like the one I used to love working at in Halifax.”
James Baker (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat candidate, James Baker said: “I’ve represented Halifax as a councillor since 2012 and have a reputation as a hard-working campaigner.
“I’m standing for the Liberal Democrats because we’re the biggest and strongest party to stop Brexit and build a brighter future for people and our planet.
“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have led their parties to the extremes and for too many people, things aren’t working as they should be.
“We’ve an ambitious plan for the future of our country, where every person, community and our planet can thrive. Our plan for a brighter future includes a government that will stop Brexit and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus generated through the boost to the economy in public services and tackling inequalities.”
The Lib Dems also plan to tackle climate emergency by generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030; recruit 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools; build a fairer economy by providing free childcare from nine months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills and training throughout their lives; and transform mental health services by treating mental health with the urgency of physical.
Bella Jessop (Green Party)
The Green Party candidate for Halifax, Bella Jessop said: “This is an election determined by the ongoing climate crisis and Brexit.
“The Greens have set the agenda with an extensive plan (The Green New Deal) to tackle the climate emergency, and have a led in the fight for a People’s Vote.
“Half of global emissions have been produced in the last 30 years, and we need to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 to stop irreversible climate damage; a promise that only the Greens are certain on delivering.
“On Brexit our stance is clear: give the people a final say on the deal proposed, with a People’s Vote, but I’ll fight and campaign to remain and reform our membership of the EU.
“The Green Party plan to create a fairer society by scrapping tuition fees, taxing the rich, ensuring free public healthcare, and funding the NHS to make mental health a higher priority.
“I’d support the electrification of the Calder Valley train-line and buses, invest in affordable and energy-efficient social housing, push for a real living wage (including under 25s), and fight to defend green spaces such as Horely Green in Claremount. A Green vote is to tackle the climate emergency; a say on Brexit; and a fairer society.”
Sarah Wood (Brexit Party)
Sarah Wood is set to represent The Brexit Party as the candidate for Halifax.
She said: “I feel grateful, this election gives the Halifax people the opportunity for renewed trust in politics.
“I feel relieved because the Brexit Party and I, represent a ‘clean slate’.
“I feel frustrated when I see the familiar ‘tit-for-tat’ attitude between the other parties. For decades, this has patronised the people of Halifax.
“What I really want to feel is empowered as a citizen of Halifax. I feel trust in my party.
“I feel trust in myself. I’m trusting the process and the people of Halifax, to make a choice that is right for you.
“Haliax, please do me the honour of placing your trust in me on the 12th December 2019 at the ballot box. I see it as a privilege.
"I’m simply a conduit for your voice. “I bring a wealth of diverse and valuable skills from my career history. I promise to represent you in the best way I’m able, to work hard and to put you first.
“I’ll use your mandate with care and attention.”
Kashif Ali (Conservative)
The Conservative candidate for Halifax, Kashif Ali said: “I campaigned for Leave in 2016 and I feel ignored and betrayed by the Labour MP for Halifax who has tried to stop us leaving the EU.
“Many Remain voters are frustrated the democratic result of the referendum is not being respected and Brexit is still not sorted.
“Corbyn’s Labour MP for Halifax now wants a second referendum which means years of delay and frustrating the will of the people.
“As your Conservative candidate I pledge to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and ensure we leave the EU on 31 January 2020.”
Mr Ali provided examples of his party’s guarantees for Halifax such as extra NHS funding with 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments a year; 20,000 more police and tougher sentencing for criminals; an Australian-style points-based system to control immigration; millions more invested every week in science, schools, apprenticeships and infrastructure, while controlling debt.
The Conservatives aim to reach Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure.
“We’ll not raise income tax, VAT or National Insurance.”