General Election 2024: Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens hitting the campaign trail in Burnley, Padiham and Brierfield

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Four Burnley parties are hitting the campaign trail.

The area’s Parliamentary candidates for Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are all launching their bids this week to be named the Burnley, Padiham and Brierfield MP at the General Election on Thursday, July 4th.

Who are the candidates?

Conservative politician Antony Higginbotham will fight to keep hold of his seat after making history in 2019 by becoming the first Conservative MP in Burnley since 1910.

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Ballot box.Ballot box.
Ballot box.

Representing Labour is Oliver Ryan, who would be one of Burnley’s youngest MPs if he wins the seat, cutting his teeth as a local councillor in Thameside at 19-years-old.

Gordon Birtwistle will stand for the Lib Dems after serving five years in a coalition government as Burnley’s MP in 2010.

The Green Party, which is part of the coalition running Burnley Borough Council, will choose its candidate in the next few days.

Here is what each party has said about hitting the campaign trail:

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Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham. Photo: Kelvin Lister-StuttardBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
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Conservatives

Antony Higginbotham said: “I will be fighting for every vote as I seek another four years as your MP.

“Over the course of the past four years, I’ve put my heart and soul into bringing something different to Burnley and Padiham. Making sure that for the first time in a long time our views are not ignored in Parliament. And that investment pours into levelling up parts of our borough, which had been left to rot for years on end.

Oliver Ryan, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Burnley.Oliver Ryan, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Burnley.
Oliver Ryan, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Burnley.

“We’ve tried a Labour MP and had nothing but managed decline. That’s why we needed change!

“In this election, all I ask is that you judge me, not on the actions of anybody else - but on what I have delivered for us here in Burnley and Padiham. Because we’ve achieved a tremendous amount in the past few years, which is seeing our area transforming before our eyes. But four years was never enough to reverse the long-accepted decline accepted by Labour MPs disinterested in what Burnley and Padiham can be.

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“My message has always and will always be one of optimism for the future. Providing a better life for all of us in this part of the world. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be putting forward my case for why we need to continue on this journey of change. And I hope residents can come out and support me in that.”

Former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle. Photo: Kelvin Lister-StuttardFormer Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
Former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard

Labour

Labour candidate Oliver Ryan said: “On the cost of living, on health care, on council services, on feeling hope for the future – are you better off? Is our country better off with five more years of Tory decline?

“It’s Labour or Tory here, it’s red or blue. I am proud to launch my campaign to be the next Labour MP for Burnley, Padiham and Brierfield. As a resident, I know that our community deserves better than the past 14 years of Tory decline.

“Over the next few weeks, I will set out my plans to change our towns for the better. We’ve got so much going for us, but our current Tory MP has let us down – whether it was backing Liz Truss, cutting our public services" or, Mr Ryan added, “mis-selling” Levelling Up.

"We can do better.”

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The Labour candidate has set out his first steps for the area, which include: strengthening the police force; tackling antisocial behaviour; cutting NHS waiting times for GPs, surgery and urgent treatment at Burnley and Blackburn hospitals; increasing appointments and staff numbers; reforming the NHS; and bringing down energy bills by establishing GB Energy, “a state-run, sustainable and secure supplier”.

Green Party logo. Credit: Green PartyGreen Party logo. Credit: Green Party
Green Party logo. Credit: Green Party

Liberal Democrats

Gordon Birtwistle hopes to launch the Lib Dems campaign on Saturday at his town centre surgery outside M&S from 10am to noon.

“I'm fighting on five main fronts. The first one is that I want the A&E back in Burnley.

"I want everybody to see their doctor face-to-face and no longer over the phone.

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“The third one: I want to ‘care for carers’ and make sure they're paid properly for doing their job and for travelling. They should be classed on par with nurses.

“I'll also be asking for £100m. to be spent over 10 years on regenerating and refurbing houses that are barely fit-for-habitation. Many properties in Burnley are in desperate need of refurbishment. I want to see the end of damp, rat-infested properties, which people of Burnley have to live in because they can't afford £400,000 new homes.

His fourth main pledge is to help “stop the war in Gaza” and to call for an “immediate cease-fire”.

Greens

Jack Launer, Burnley Greens leader and Executive Member for Housing, Health and Culture on Burnley Borough Council, said: "We are making our internal party selection in the next few days, and will make that public as soon as a decision is made. We are busy with our role in the local coalition in Burnley Borough Council.

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“We will continue on our journey to make sure we have the right homes in the right places for the right price. We want to encourage different housing solutions across the borough.

“We have suggested new pilots to the ICB to target the health of Burnley residents to try and help cut the pressure on 24-hour waiting times in A&E in Blackburn and help with the backlog of GP appointments.

“Our pledge is to help Burnley expand the Green Economy within the borough and expand our creative industries keeping young people living in Burnley.

“We think that an expansion of our culture and tourism opportunities will attract more visitors to the centre of town and our beautiful rural countryside.

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“Having spent time inside the workings of the town hall makes us not a wasted vote but a progressive one. We have not got to grips with the local issues and are working towards solutions for social justice and a greener fairer society."

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