Independent candidate in Burnley 'passionate about health and education'

The independent candidate attempting to become Burnley's next MP has said she will fight her campaign on health and education.

Karen Helsby Entwistle
Karen Helsby Entwistle

Karen Helsby Entwistle, who is the only candidate in Burnley not representing a party, said she had campaigned at local and national level since 2006 for the rights of children, noticably for the right to resuscitate and for better support in education for families with autism.

The businesswoman, who has lived in Burnley for the last 20 years, after working around the world, said the forthcoming general election is "a turning point for all of us."

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She said: "I'm passionate about health and education. My youngest son was born prematurely and so I owe a massive debt to the love and care shown by the NHS.

"I have campaigned at local and national level since 2006 for the rights of children - with considerable results. Firstly, for the right to resuscitate at 24 weeks, when the European norm of 26 weeks was being debated. Then in 2014 with the support of Gordon Birtwistle we took the Autism debate to Parliament and encouraged families across the UK to join our "Kids with Autism Demand Education" campaign.

"As a family we have prided ourselves on helping and supporting families across Lancashire to navigate a system that is clearly not fit for purpose. We have worked across political parties and with various charities for the rights of disabled children - something as a family we are extremely passionate about.

"I truly feel that this general election is a turning point for all of us. It's clear that most people are struggling with the truth and honesty of our politicians, realising that we most likely have an outdated political system. I truly believe there is a better way for us all and that by working together we can bring about phenomenal change for Burnley and Padiham.

"Over the next four weeks we have choices to make. Not just between political parties but between the kind of changes we want to implement in our community.

"Being an independent means not being constrained by any political parties, listening to the issues that matter most to the people of Burnley and Padiham, especially the younger generation who are our future. I welcome their thoughts and ideas, including running campaigns across social media and engaging widely for real change.

"My intention is to truly listen and share the choices we have before us, in a clear and no-nonsense way, encouraging community. Together we can do this."