General Election 2017: Burnley’s election candidates explain why you should back them

Julie Cooper, Gordon Birtwistle, Paul White, Tom Commis and Laura Fisk
Julie Cooper, Gordon Birtwistle, Paul White, Tom Commis and Laura Fisk

The five candidates bidding to become the next MP for Burnley have given their election messages to readers of the Express.

The borough’s former MP, Labour’s Julie Cooper, will be defending her seat against the challenge of former Burnley MP, Liberal Democrat Gordon Birtwistle, and Conservative's Paul White as well as two other candidates.

It will be the third time the Labour and Lib Dem political stalwarts line up against each other in a General Election. Mr Birtwistle was successful in 2010, while Mrs Cooper beat her rival two years ago.

However, the calling of a snap General Election by Prime Minister Theresa May means the Labour MP must defend her seat sooner than she would have hoped.

Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Paul White will be hoping to become the first Tory MP returned from Burnley since 1910 when Gerald Arbuthnot represented the town.

Mr White, a Pendle councillor, will be hoping to do better than he fared in the recent county council elections when he lost his seat. The Green Party is putting forward Laura Fisk who two years ago stood in Pendle, while Tom Commis will represent the UK Independence Party, as he did two years ago. The nation will go to the polls on Thursday, June 8th.

Meet the candidates

Julie Cooper - Labour

Gordon Birtwistle - Liberal Democrats

Paul White - Conservatives

Tom Commis - UKIP

Laura Fisk - The Green Party