Cambridgeshire

Peterborough by-election: Fifteen candidates set out views

Peterborough city centre
Image caption The Peterborough by-election on 6 June was triggered when Ms Onasanya was removed following a recall petition, after being jailed for lying about a speeding offence

The 15 candidates battling for the Peterborough seat vacated by disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya have told the BBC why people should vote for them.

The by-election on 6 June was triggered when Ms Onasanya was removed following a recall petition, after being jailed for lying about a speeding offence.

She won the seat for Labour in 2017, narrowly beating the Conservatives who had held it since 2005.

The city saw 61% of residents voted to leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

Lisa Forbes - Labour

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Labour candidate Lisa Forbes said: "Brexit is not as big an issue as some people suggest. Only two or three voters in 10 bring it up. Quite frankly people are fed up with it. They want a deal and we need to bring the country back together.

"We lost £22m from schools in Peterborough. This has a massive impact on our children and attainment. We need to put resources where they are needed."

Paul Bristow - Conservative

Paul Bristow, the Conservative candidate, said: "Labour MPs have voted to block a Brexit deal. I want to leave the European Union.

On education, he said: "I am not going to pretend that we don't have problems with schools, but 60% more schools than 2010 are now rated good and outstanding, and the council have put together an investigation into improving school results."

Beki Sellick - Liberal Democrat

Image copyright LibDemBeki

Beki Sellick, the Liberal Democrats candidate, said: "Brexit is the biggest issue on the doorstep. There has been a spike in hate crimes caused by the Brexit vote - people have felt they are allowed to be racist because of the vote.

"On education, we have a system where we over-test pupils. We would take away SATs to reduce over-testing."

Mike Greene - Brexit Party

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Mike Greene, the Brexit Party candidate, said: "The most important thing going on at the moment is democracy. I never expected the government to let us down to the degree it has. We are clear we want to leave the EU.

"We've been getting a fantastic level of support in Peterborough. We have been buoyed by the support."

Joseph Wells - Green Party

Green Party candidate Joseph Wells said: "I want to represent people in the area where I was born. I have seen how Peterborough has been repeatedly let down by its representatives in Westminster. I believe I will provide a strong voice for our city.

"As climate change continues to pose a dire threat to the planet we are in desperate need of representatives who will look to the future."

John Whitby - UKIP

UKIP candidate John Whitby said: "We are categorised as a far-right party, but we are anything but. We have policies across the political spectrum. A lot of people are unhappy with the democratic deficit. UKIP has been the Brexit party for 27 years."

"We have been working in the city for many, many years. I love the place and am not somebody who is a career politician. We have a lot to offer."

Patrick O'Flynn - SDP Fighting for Brexit

Patrick O'Flynn, candidate for the SDP Fighting for Brexit, said: "I am an outgoing MEP [for UKIP] and I am campaigning to get out of the European Union without the Thatcherite economics of the Brexit Party.

"I'm a moderate calling for more money for the NHS and investment in public services, and I'm not in support of cutting them back."

Tom Rogers - Christian People's Alliance

Tom Rogers, candidate for the Christian People's Alliance, said: "We believe we should found society on Christian values.

"Our core values are respect for life, empowerment of the individual and social justice. The big concern is Brexit. We are committed to getting people out of the EU. They voted for it and we have to deliver it. We have to heal society."

Dick Rodgers, Common Good: Remain in the EU

Dick Rodgers, the Common Good: Remain in the EU candidate, said: "We want our country to be one which is seeking to be a better place. There are real problems in the world. This country has the tremendous achievement of saving our world from tyranny in World War Two.

"Making the world a better place will make us a happier bunch of bunnies."

Stephen Goldspink - English Democrats

Image copyright Stephen Goldspink

Former Peterborough councillor Stephen Goldspink, candidate for the English Democrats, said: "I believe we should leave with a 'no deal' Brexit. We are taking the government to the High Court for a 'no deal'.

"We want government representation for England - Wales has it and Scotland has it. We want a fair deal for everyone in England, an English parliament."

Andrew Moore - independent

Independent Andrew John Moore said: "I voted for Brexit. Brexit needs to be delivered. I'm Peterborough born and bred. We need to talk about Peterborough.

"I live in the city and all I see is increased homelessnesss, drugs and knife-crime. Drugs is the main thing and it creates homelessness and crime, and children suffer if they take drugs. It's bringing the city down."

Bobby Smith - independent

Independent Bobby Smith said: "I have been campaigning since 2014 for a change in family law to give both parents a presumption of 50/50 contact with children after separation.

"I am standing in this election to raise awareness of fathers' rights. Men are getting a raw deal. We are all bored with Brexit, people should focus on something else."

Alan "Howling Laud" Hope - Official Monster Raving Loony Party

Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Alan "Howling Laud" Hope said: "I intend to stand for 'Things'. Things that need doing. Things that are good for the town. Things that can make Peterborough one great big happy community.

"I have had much experience of doing just that, more on a local level, having been a town councillor for many years, and still currently elected."

Peter Ward - Renew

Renew party candidate Peter Ward said: "This country is in such a mess. The system is broken. The Renew Party started after the referendum. We want to reboot the country. We are the only party that is truly a remain party.

"I am from Peterborough. I think Peterborough should be a university city. As an MP I would throw my weight behind that and also housing issues."

Pierre Kirk - UK European Union Party

UK European Union Party candidate Pierre Kirk said: "We all saw the chaos going on in Parliament so we formed a political party so the European voice could be heard. We have benefitted from European funding.

"If I am elected we hope to stop Brexit. The European election in May is the British public's best opportunity to have their second referendum and reverse Brexit.'"

The by-election takes place on Thursday, 6 June.

Peterborough by-election candidates debate the issues on Sunday Politics East, broadcast at 10:00 BST on BBC1 on Sunday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The by-election was triggered when Fiona Onasanya was removed following a recall petition

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