Five bidding to be next Pendle MP

Five candidates will be lining up to stake their claim to be Pendle's next MP.

Wednesday, 17th May 2017, 5:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:39 pm

Conservative Andrew Stephenson, will be hoping to hold on to the seat he has held since 2010.Mr Stephenson was elected in 2010 and again in 2015 when he solidified his position, garnering 20,978 votes and more than a 5,000 majority.All of the other four candidates are new faces from the last General Election two years ago, with Labour again expected to be the nearest challenger.Pendle borough councillor Wayne Blackburn is the man hoping to win the seat for Labour.Coun. Blackburn, who has represented the Clover Hill ward for the last two years, is a disability and mental health campaigner, who only entered politics in recent years when he protested about Conservative plans for the so-called bedroom tax.Born with a form of cerebral palsy, Mr Blackburn has mobility issues and sometimes uses a wheelchair.Alongside his council work he is also a constituency case worker for Kate Green, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston.The Liberal Democrats have put forward party stalwart Gordon Lishman CBE. Briercliffe resident Mr Lishman, a former Director General of Age Concern England, has stood unsuccessfully twice before in Pendle, in 1983 and 1987.He was appointed an OBE in 1993 and the CBE in the New Year Honours 2006 for services to older people.The Green party have put forward former nurse Ian Barnett.A sem-retired triathlete, he now works for GoVelo in Pendle as a Bikeability instructor, helping children to stay fit and healthy, ride safely and encourage the next generation to become more environmentally friendly.He said he “fights for our NHS, improved social care, better housing, a living wage, renewable energy, an end to fracking and reversing the effects of austerity, Brexit and the divided society that it seems to be creating”.Pendle borough councillor Brian Parker is the British National Party candidate.Coun. Parker, who represents Marsden ward, was elected 11 years ago. He has also served a full term on Nelson Town Council making him the BNP’s record holder for the number of times elected.He said he was committed to fighting the “destructive agenda of mass immigration, forced multiculturalism and giving away £13.5 billion or so in foreign aid” adding that “immigration had resulted in ghettos in many towns adding to the threat of Islamisation and breeding home-grown terrorism by having introduced a fifth-column of Islamists”.The nation goes to the polls on June 8th.