PAUL HALLORAN, the Heavy Woollen Independent candidate for Batley West in May’s local elections, will fight the Batley & Spen seat in the General Election.
Currently on a family holiday in Australia, the local businessman took to his ‘Paul Halloran – Standing up for Batley’ Facebook page this week to canvass opinion. After a huge groundswell of support, the Brexit supporter decided to throw his hat in the ring for the poll on December 12.
Mr Halloran also revealed that he had been offered a choice of two seats by the Brexit Party in the summer – but not the Batley & Spen constituency. He declined their offer after the already-appointed Brexit Party candidate Jill Hughes refused to consider a switch.
In a video post from Sydney on Wednesday he revealed that he’d been inundated with queries from friends and political supporters asking if he intended running.
He said: “For years and years our area has been ‘represented’ by career politicians who have used your vote to further their own lifestyles.
“The current incumbent Tracy Brabin has ignored the results of the 2016 referendum, adopting a patronising approach to you the voter.
“She believes you’re all so uneducated that you haven’t the intelligence to make some informed decisions. Do you believe that someone who ignores your vote, deserves it in the future?”
He added: “This isn’t the Paul Halloran Show, it never has been, it’s all about Batley & Spen.”
He also revealed that he had received overtures from other parties. Although he didn’t reveal which, the Batley & Spen Conservative constituency association is believed to be in turmoil over its failure to appoint a prospective Parliamentary candidate.
The Press understands local Tories had their initial shortlist rejected by party HQ and are now being presented with a list of approved candidates from which to select. None are believed to be local.
Mr Halloran concluded: “If I stand as an independent Brexit candidate, I can say what I want, when I want, how I want. And I’m sure people believe in me because they know I’m doing it for the right reasons.
“It’s a sea-change, it’s a massive change, but politics has changed. The Labour Party locally, who have had a stranglehold on this area, have basically abandoned the working class people – and I will stand up for everybody, no matter what colour or creed.”
In the Kirklees Council elections Mr Halloran finished second to Labour candidate Yusra Hussain with 1,959 votes.
His fellow Heavy Woollen Independent Aleks Lukic, who ousted Labour’s long-serving Dewsbury East member Eric Firth in May, said: “Paul had a really impressive result in May, almost toppling Labour in their safest seat in Kirklees. If anyone can beat Tracy Brabin in Batley & Spen it is Paul and I am backing him all the way.”
Mr Halloran’s campaign manager is Jonathan Scott, the former Conservative councillor for Dewsbury South, who oversaw the Vote Leave campaign in north Kirklees in 2016, which delivered an overwhelming majority.
Mr Scott said: “After three-and-a-half years of the most useless, self-serving Parliament since the time of Cromwell, the people now have the opportunity to elect representatives who will deliver Brexit and actually listen to the genuine concerns of local people.
“Unlike other candidates, Paul Halloran will be going to Westminster to represent the people of Batley & Spen, not coming to Batley & Spen so he can get on the Westminster gravy train to represent himself or the narrow interests of a political party.
“Paul Halloran will stand up and speak out for local people. He will fight for every vote, there will be no better chance or time to deliver Brexit and to bring about the change Batley & Spen so desperately needs.”