General Election 2019: Rutland and Melton candidates announced
A counter terrorism expert and a former Manchester City councillor are among the candidates battling it out in the upcoming General Election.
The candidates for the Rutland and Melton constituency were officially announced today (Thursday, November 14) ahead of voters going to the polls on December 12 but the main parties have already named their candidates.
Alicia Kearns was selected as the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate in a bid to succeed Sir Alan Duncan, who held the role of MP for 27 years.
On the same day, Andy Thomas was selected as the Labour candidate.
Dr Carol Weaver, standing for the Liberal Democrats, had already been announced.
Also throwing their hat into the ring is Alastair McQuillan for the Green Party - he secured three per cent of the votes in 2019.
Meanwhile, former RAF veteran Jim Bennett will no longer be standing for the Brexit Party after party leader Nigel Farage pulled all of the candidates in constituencies considered “safe Tory seats”.
Alicia Kearns for the Conservative Party has a wealth of experience advising the UK Government and its allies on Counter Terrorism and has led interventions in Iraq and Syria.
Following her selection Alicia said: “It is the privilege of my life to have the opportunity to serve Rutland and Melton.
“I look forward to meeting as many people as possible on the doorstep, in our vibrant market towns, and in our fantastic villages.
“My priorities are ending rural disadvantage and securing the funding we deserve, tackling rural crime, protecting rural life and delivering Brexit.
“Sir Alan Duncan has served Rutland and Melton diligently for many years, and I am honoured to succeed him as the Conservative candidate.
“I pay tribute to his steadfast support of our communities over the last 27 years, and in particular his securing of funding for two crucial by-passes for our area.”
Andy Thomas for the Labour Party said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be selected by Rutland and Melton Labour Party to be the Labour candidate in this vital election.
“It’s time for real change. Labour has the most radical, positive, people-focused plan of modern times.
“I look forward to meeting as many people as possible in the next few weeks and sharing our message and great plans for a better future.”
Andy was born into a “police family” and grew up on council estates in North Wales. Educational opportunities widened his horizons and enabled him to develop a successful and interesting career in the public sector.
Andy has worked on rehousing families from slum clearance in Salford, fighting racial discrimination in Manchester and London, and working for urban regeneration in Loughborough and Leicester.
Andy was elected a Labour councillor of Manchester City Council in 1979/80. Later he was a candidate for Harborough and Leicestershire Councils from 2015. He was Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harborough in the 2017 General Election when his team doubled Labour’s share of the vote. Neil O’Brien for the Conservative Party went on to win the Harborough seat.
Dr Carol Weaver is a former university lecturer at Leicester’s De Montfort University, with a PhD in European security.
She has been a Liberal Democrat campaigner for many years and is currently the chairman of the non-partisan Leicestershire and Rutland European Movement.
Until last year, Carol lived for 14 years in Ashwell, Rutland, before moving to Kibworth. She has also worked in the NHS in Stamford.
Carol does not want the people of Rutland and Leicestershire to lose their European citizenship.
She also says she cares strongly about the planet, the environment, the NHS (including mental health and social care) and education (including special needs and universities).
The Rutland and Melton Lib Dems say they are proud to be the leading Remain Party in the region and agree with leader Jo Swinson’s policy to revoke Article 50 notification to withdraw from the EU, but only if the party receives a mandate to do so from the public. Revoking is the only way to stop Brexit quickly, they said.
Carol continued: “But we are not a party with just one policy. We are excited to have just outlined our policies for a green economy, a fairer and safer society, ring-fenced money for the NHS and social care and increased funding for schools and vocational education.”
Dr Weaver will be holding a meet and greet at The Whipper Inn in Oakham on Saturday, November 16, at 9am, where she will be discussing the Liberal Democrats’ plans for the future.
The Green Party’s Alastair McQuillan, from Melton Mowbray, has lived in the constituency all his life and currently works in Oakham for Wetherspoon. He has previously worked in biological research in Central America and South East Asia and conservation projects in Iceland.
Alastair said that he is proud to stand for the Green Party, to stand up for local people and campaign for a fairer Britain.
He said: “Like so many local people, I feel that the elite Westminster Politicians have failed us all on Brexit. We need a People’s Vote to get us out of this mess. As your MP, I would work to give power back to the people. We also need investment local communities to tackle the climate emergency, deliver a better quality of life and to transform this country into a Britain that works for everyone.”
Alastair is concerned about growing inequality in the constituency and worried that Brexit has caused politicians to lose focus on rural communities.
Marietta King, for the UKIP party, is standing in her fifth General Election. She lives in Uppingham and is a cabinet maker and antique furniture restorer.
Grantham and Stamford UKIP feared fielding a candidate might split the pro-Brexit vote, but Melton and Rutland UKIP said their party is about more than just Brexit, having a ‘full manifesto of other policies’.
Marietta says UKIP is the only party to have consistently said the UK must leave the EU, adding the 2016 referendum said nothing about a deal. A majority Conservative government needs to renegotiate Boris Johnson’s ‘deal’ to deliver a ‘clean’ Brexit.
She added: “All the indecision has done the country no good at all.”
Anthony Watchorn has also been announced as an Independent candidate. More as we have it on him.
Click here to find out who has been selected to stand elsewhere
- Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum is to host a General Election hustings on the evening of Tuesday, December 3, and invites all candidates in the Rutland and Melton constituency to address and take questions from a public audience.
- All candidates standing in the Rutland constituency are invited to submit a 350-word profile outlining why our readers should vote for them, together with a photo. The deadline for this is midday on Thursday, November 28, and all profiles received by this deadline will be published in the Mercury on Friday, December 6.