Wigan’s parliamentary candidates for the upcoming election have been announced – and here they set out to convince voters to lend them their vote.
Labour have held the reins in Wigan ever since the end of the First World War, and have been represented by Lisa Nandy since 2010.
But heightened tensions over the constituency’s strong support for Brexit could be on the minds of some when they cast their vote.
Below, the candidates say why they are standing for election on December 12.
Peter Jacobs (Green Party)
Business-as-usual has been busy-going-nowhere. There’s more carbon in the air and more plastic in the oceans every day. The way we live is doomed.
I’m standing in this election because I want a future to look forward to, not one that I’m afraid of. I want to live in a country of which I can be proud, not one I’m ashamed of.
And I believe change is possible. We have the technology and the skill, if we have the political will. We have the opportunity in this election to change direction.
The Green New Deal is more than a manifesto. It’s a vision of what Britain can become.
The choice facing us on December 12th is a stark one. We could lead the world by starting to build the first truly Green economy, or we can tinker with more familiar policies until climate change overwhelms us.
William Malloy (Brexit Party)
I’m standing to defend democracy, to give Wigan a voice and change politics for good.
In 2016, 64pc of people in Wigan voted to leave the EU and yet we are still waiting for that to be achieved. I want a true Brexit delivered.
Leaving means no more of our money being paid to the EU; the supremacy of UK law; the right of the UK to protect its own industry; controlling immigration and our own defence policy.
Our current MP doesn’t agree with this and has helped to prolong the Brexit process.
I want to see local investment of money no longer being sent to the EU and the introduction of zero business rates for high street retailers to bring local shops back. We need high performing local health and social care – something neither Labour nor Tories have ever delivered.
And we need a new fairer parliamentary system where every vote counts instead of our current system which favours the political establishment.
Lisa Nandy (Labour)
For the last ten years I have fought tirelessly to protect people in Wigan from this heartless Tory Government. I have voted against cuts to the police, schools and hospitals, battled for better public transport and stood up for the environment.
Wigan is my home and it has been a privilege to represent a community that looks after people in tough times and shares a belief that Britain can be better. I am proud to have helped thousands of people access housing, benefits and fairer treatment.
At a time when Brexit has divided us and people have lost faith in politics, I have always kept my promises and relentlessly defended this town against the Tory Government.
This is the most important General Election in a generation. A vote for Labour is a vote to end the cuts once and for all and bring our divided country back together.
Stuart Thomas (Lib Dems)
Since 2016 we have seen all the promises and prospects of Brexit dissolve and contradicted by the architects who burdened the country with it.
I am standing as the only candidate in Wigan who is standing to stop this Brexit mess before this town and its people bear the brunt of its failure.
Ashley Williams (Conservatives)
“Ashley lives and works in Greater Manchester. He has worked in the charity and business sectors for the last 10 years, managing his own small business and working particularly with charities providing services in healthcare and education, both in the UK and abroad.
“Ashley is passionate about getting Brexit done so that our country can move forward and invest in our future, giving businesses the confidence to grow and getting more people into stable well paid employment.
“He wants to see improved transport and infrastructure in the North of England, which will open the door to greater investment. The NHS must be supported and well-funded to ensure that this vital British institution is something to be proud of for generations to come.
“If elected, Ashley will help #getbrexitdone, deliver for the people of Wigan and work tirelessly for his constituents, spending as much time as possible in Wigan.”
Who are the election candidates in Makerfield?
The candidates standing in Makerfield have had their say on why they are hoping to be the constituency’s MP.
Since its inception in 1983, the area has always been Labour and has been represented by Yvonne Fovargue since 2010.
The Conservatives and UKIP have recorded showings in each of the last two elections, though the latter party has not fielded a candidate this time round.
In their own words, the candidates make their plea for voters to lend them their support on December 12.
Yvonne Fovargue (Labour)
“Being from a working class background, I have fought all my life for working people. Our communities have so much optimism, so much brilliance and so much potential.
“But for the last nine years Tory and Lib Dem cuts have held us back, increasing poverty and food bank use, damaging our schools, police and our precious NHS. I will never allow a Donald Trump style takeover of our NHS.
“A Labour Government will deliver real change, because when Labour wins, the NHS wins, our schools win, pensioners win, students win and working people win. With your support I’ll continue to be a strong voice for people and communities in Makerfield.”
Nick King (Conservatives)
“It’s a huge privilege to be the Conservative candidate for Makerfield and to offer local residents a chance to vote for a candidate who wants to get Brexit done once and for all.
“We need to get Brexit done so we can start investing in things local people care about, like our NHS, the police, our schools and local transport.
“But for too long we’ve been stuck with a zombie Parliament which has refused to listen to the people. Brexit has created far too much uncertainty and gone on too long. A vote for Labour will just continue the dither and delay.
“We need a Conservative Government which will get Brexit done, invest in people’s priorities and unleash this country’s potential.”
Sheila Shaw (Green Party)
“The coming General Election will be a defining one in terms of the direction our country takes over the years to come. We are facing the possibility of catastrophic climate change and loss of biodiversity within this century. We must face up to this challenge together as a nation.
“The North has also suffered a decade or more of under-investment, which the Green Party intends to reverse by adopting a Green New Deal. This has the potential to revitalise industry in the North, improve living conditions and provide new job opportunities to the people of Wigan who have been neglected for too long.
“If I am elected, I will work to turn the Green New Deal into reality with far reaching benefits for us all, and particularly for the next generation.”
John Skipworth (Lib Dems)
“The real issue the UK should be focused on is the climate emergency and between the Tories lack of action since the emergency was declared nationally and Labour’s contradiction of tearing through green belt land in Makerfield.
“It’s high time residents had a real voice in parliament to start taking the emergency seriously and action immediately”
Ross Wright (Brexit Party)
“I am not a career politician and I had no intention of getting involved in the General Election – but I am so angry that we have been betrayed by our Westminster politicians.
“Like most people in this country I’m sick of elections but the combined area of Wigan voted 63.9pc Leave and that hasn’t been honoured. That situation must be rectified and I want to do my part to bring that about.
“Sadly many people of my age – 24 – are turned off by politics but I am determined to use all my energy to fight to put people before politics. This is such an important election and I ask the electorate to lend me your vote so that we can change politics for good.”
Who are the election candidates in Leigh?
Mark Clayton (Lib Dems)
Crime and antisocial behaviour have been on the rise across the borough and within Leigh especially.
Cuts to policing, social care and education are all contributing factors to this rise and it’s imperative we act to improve all these areas so Leythers can feel safe to walk the streets.
James Grundy (Conservatives)
I was educated here, grew up here and have worked here almost all my life, and I’m proud to represent my home village of Lowton on the council.
As my highest priority, I’ll vote to get Brexit done and end the gridlock, then we can get on and deal with the issues local people want to see sorted.
We need to get on with reconnecting Leigh to the national rail network with a railway station, and finish the Atherleigh Way bypass.
We need to regenerate our town centres and get more police on our streets to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour.
We need to protect our green belt from the destructive development plans of Labour controlled Wigan Metro, and have a debate about whether we
should have our own council back as a town.
All these things and more need doing. Let’s get Brexit done and fix our town.
James Melly (Brexit Party)
I am standing in this election because Leigh is broken. This town voted 63.9% to leave and the people have been ignored. We are sending millions to the E.U. while people here in Leigh struggle.
This town should be thriving and instead it’s dying. I want to improve people’s lives. We have major problems with; crime, unemployment, poverty, drug abuse and a homelessness epidemic.
People just don’t feel safe and that shouldn’t be the case. We can’t go on like this, it’s time for change.
Maureen O’Bern (Independent)
I have worked in Leigh Library for 32 years. I love my job but decided to stand as an Independent candidate in Leigh as I felt the democratic vote for Brexit was not being respected.
Many people including myself are very disillusioned and no longer trust mainstream parties.
This is what I’d like to do in Leigh and surrounding areas:
To work with the council, police and the community to tackle anti social behaviour and substance abuse issues
To tackle homelessness with mental health and addiction support
A training/employment programme for all school leavers not in work or education.
Campaign for more funding for social care, public services and the NHS
Support business and regenerate our town centres.
To follow the lead of the people of Leigh by asking what what they want for their town.
I promise to donate at least 15% of my salary to community projects
Leon Peters (UKIP)
I was born in Leigh and have continued to live, work and raise my family here. I love this town and I have seen our once proud communities eroded under Tory government and Labour councils. We have been consistently let down by lack of investment, service cuts and false promises.
Vote UKIP for a fresh vision and let’s start putting the people of our towns first. For example, I would champion and fight for increased funding for the NHS, social care, infrastructure and schools. I would be against service cuts, uncontrolled immigration and costly unnecessary projects such as HS2.
In the 2017 election Labour held the Leigh constituency by stating they would respect the referendum. They did not. Labour is a remain party. UKIP offer true leave voters a home.
Jo Platt (Labour)
I’m immensely proud to stand for re-election in my home constituency as a local working-class woman who lives in Leigh with my two children.
I know exactly what our towns needs to thrive and work for the hardworking many. My priority has always been to bring the best out of our community and unlock our incredible potential. But we’ve been held back by the Conservatives and endured a lost decade of cuts that have prevented the transformation we need.
Over the last two years in Parliament, my transport campaign has brought us closer to restoring rail connectivity than at any point since our train stations were closed 50 years ago with three proposed stations to serve our towns.
I’m standing as a strong, local voice in Parliament who stands up for our community and fights for the investment & infrastructure we need to rebuild, restore and renew our towns.