General Election candidates for Grantham, Sleaford and Rutland and Melton confirmed
A businessman, a miner's daughter and ex-RAF engineer are among the candidates seeking your vote in the General Election on December 12 in the Grantham and Stamford constituency.
The candidates were confirmed today (Thursday, November 14).
In Grantham and Stamford, the Conservatives have selected 35-year-old Yorkshireman Gareth Davies.
Married just this year, Mr Davies is a state-school educated and self-made businessman who grew up in Leeds and rural North Yorkshire.
He is an expert in pensions, with an emphasis on ethical investments. He attended Harvard University's JFK School of Government and advised the former government of US President Barack Obama.
He has begun campaigning on issues such as the A1, has met health chiefs over local hospitals, and backs Boris Johnson's 'deal' on Brexit.
He said: "Having a background in business, I firmly believe in building a thriving local economy to help bolster local shops and businesses ensuring our towns and villages prosper."
His Labour opponent Kathryn Salt is a miner's daughter from Bolsover, who received an MBE for her community and charity work. Once the youngest mayor of Alfreton in Derbyshire, she also spent nine years on Amber Valley Borough Council.
Miss Salt said: "I have worked tirelessly with Dennis Skinner on many poignant issues in our communities.
"As chair of Midland's Women's TUC, we have worked hard in order to ensure that homeless people are supported and also to eradicate poverty.
"I have also worked alongside the Waspi movement to try and get the 50s ladies their pension."
The teacher has met with hospital campaigners and says restoring hospital services is a priority.
She added: "We need to ensure our high streets are protected and regenerated.
"I am a people's person and always listen to people. I genuinely care about Grantham and Stamford and would live in the area and work with all of the people and would be proud to do so."
A more familiar face is former Stamford Mayor Harrish Bisnauthsing, who is making his third bid for Westminster.
The former RAF electronics engineer has been a long-standing town councillor and when he stood for the district council in May, he topped the poll in Stamford St Mary's ward, beating former council leader Matthew Lee.
Mr Bisnauthsing is involved in many communities activities and helped set up the Stamford Credit Union.
Born in Mauritius, he has lived in Stamford 40 years and last year, the father-of-three celebrated his Golden Wedding to wife Pamela.
He added: "It's time to get on with the business of tackling all the local issues that have simply not been receiving the attention that they deserve.
"We need a new MP who will fight for fair funding for our area so that we can properly deliver the services and infrastructure that will help our constituency and its people prosper."
The Green Party candidate is Anne Gayfer. She has worked as a civil servant in London and has since spent more than 20 years in Grantham.
After redundancy she trained in reflexology and also undertook roles for the Green Party, also standing for the party in Grantham in the May 2019 local elections.
She says as well as fighting climate change, the main issues, especially locally, include air quality around schools, flooding and where development is sited, and supporting 'green spaces' in communities.
She also backs Green Party policies such as moving towards a four-day week, paying a living wage, and also introducing a 'universal basic income.'
Grantham businesswoman Jessica Swift was the candidate for the Brexit Party, until leader Nigel Farage announced that none of its candidates would stand in seats that elected Conservative MPs in 2017 to help prevent a split in the pro-Brexit vote.
In the Rutland and Melton constituency Alicia Kearns was selected as the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate in a bid to succeed Sir Alan Duncan, who held the role of MP for 27 years.
Andy Thomas was selected as the Labour candidate and Dr Carol Weaver is standing for the Liberal Democrats.
Also throwing their hat into the ring is Alastair McQuillan for the Green Party - he secured three per cent of the votes in 2019.
Miss Kearns for the Conservative Party has a wealth of experience advising the UK Government and its allies on Counter Terrorism and has led interventions in Iraq and Syria.
Following her selection she said: “It is the privilege of my life to have the opportunity to serve Rutland and Melton.
“I look forward to meeting as many people as possible on the doorstep, in our vibrant market towns, and in our fantastic villages.
“My priorities are ending rural disadvantage and securing the funding we deserve, tackling rural crime, protecting rural life and delivering Brexit.
“Sir Alan Duncan has served Rutland and Melton diligently for many years, and I am honoured to succeed him as the Conservative candidate.
“I pay tribute to his steadfast support of our communities over the last 27 years, and in particular his securing of funding for two crucial by-passes for our area.”
Mr Thomas said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be selected by Rutland and Melton Labour Party to be the Labour candidate in this vital election.
“It’s time for real change. Labour has the most radical, positive, people-focused plan of modern times.
“I look forward to meeting as many people as possible in the next few weeks and sharing our message and great plans for a better future.”
Mr Thomas was born into a “police family” and grew up on council estates in North Wales. Educational opportunities widened his horizons and enabled him to develop a successful and interesting career in the public sector.
He has worked on rehousing families from slum clearance in Salford, fighting racial discrimination in Manchester and London, and working for urban regeneration in Loughborough and Leicester.
He was elected a Labour councillor of Manchester City Council in 1979/80. Later he was a candidate for Harborough and Leicestershire Councils from 2015.He was Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harborough in the 2017 General Election when his team doubled Labour’s share of the vote.
Dr Carol Weaver is a former university lecturer at Leicester’s De Montfort University, with a PhD in European security. She has been a Liberal Democrat campaigner for many years and is currently the chairman of the non-partisan Leicestershire and Rutland European Movement.
Until last year, Dr Weaver lived for 14 years in Ashwell, Rutland, before moving to Kibworth. She has also worked in the NHS in Stamford. She does not want the people of Rutland and Leicestershire to lose their European citizenship.
She also says she cares strongly about the planet, the environment, the NHS (including mental health and social care) and education (including special needs and universities).
The Rutland and Melton Lib Dems say they are proud to be the leading Remain Party in the region and agree with leader Jo Swinson’s policy to revoke Article 50 notification to withdraw from the EU, but only if the party receives a mandate to do so from the public. Revoking is the only way to stop Brexit quickly, they said.
She continued: “But we are not a party with just one policy. We are excited to have just outlined our policies for a green economy, a fairer and safer society, ring-fenced money for the NHS and social care and increased funding for schools and vocational education.”
The Green Party’s Alastair McQuillan, from Melton Mowbray, has lived in the constituency all his life and currently works in Oakham for Wetherspoon. He has previously worked in biological research in Central America and South East Asia and conservation projects in Iceland.
Mr McQuillan said that he is proud to stand for the Green Party, to stand up for local people and campaign for a fairer Britain.
He said: “Like so many local people, I feel that the elite Westminster Politicians have failed us all on Brexit. We need a People’s Vote to get us out of this mess. As your MP, I would work to give power back to the people. We also need investment local communities to tackle the climate emergency, deliver a better quality of life and to transform this country into a Britain that works for everyone.”
Alastair is concerned about growing inequality in the constituency and worried that Brexit has caused politicians to lose focus on rural communities.
Marietta King, for the UKIP party, is standing in her fifth General Election. She lives in Uppingham and is a cabinet maker and antique furniture restorer.
Grantham and Stamford UKIP feared fielding a candidate might split the pro-Brexit vote, but Melton and Rutland UKIP said their party is about more than just Brexit, having a ‘full manifesto of other policies’.
Mrs King says UKIP is the only party to have consistently said the UK must leave the EU, adding the 2016 referendum said nothing about a deal. A majority Conservative government needs to renegotiate Boris Johnson’s ‘deal’ to deliver a ‘clean’ Brexit. She added: “All the indecision has done the country no good at all.”
Anthony Watchorn has also been announced as an Independent candidate.
The candidates confirmed for the Sleaford and North Hykeham are:
Caroline Coram –Independent
Oliver Craven – Liberal Democrats – To stop Brexit
Linda Edwards-Shea – Labour Party
Caroline Johnson – The Conservative Party Candidate
Marianne Overton – Lincolnshire Independents
Simon Tooke – Green Party
More on all these candidates as we get it.