Tories line up to take on Sherriff ... in 2020

Tories line up to take on Sherriff ... in 2020

TORIES have said that work to win back Dewsbury and Mirfield at the next election has begun already.

The Conservative Party’s local constituency association has five people lined up to potentially take on new Labour MP Paula Sherriff.

These include Beth Prescott, Itrat Ali and defeated Batley and Spen candidate Imtiaz Ameen.

It comes after Ms Sherriff beat Tory incumbent Simon Reevell in a hard-fought general election campaign.

She took the seat by 22,406 votes to 20,955 on a night when the Lib Dem vote collapsed. In 2010 the party was backed by more than 9,000 people but last Thursday fewer than 2,000 voted Lib Dem.

Tory constituency deputy chairman (political) Mark Eastwood said: “The battle to win back Dewsbury and Mirfield starts now.”

Mr Reevell is considering another tilt but said he has “genuinely no idea” if he will stand.

Miss Prescott, 22, of Dewsbury, and health worker Mrs Ali, a mother of two from Batley, both attended Heckmondwike Grammar School.

Both lost last week – Miss Prescott came third behind UKIP in Normanton and Mrs Ali was runner-up in Huddersfield.

In her victory speech, Ms Sherriff had a dig at Mr Reevell’s legal career and pledged to be a “full-time” MP.

Ms Sherriff added: “I feel privileged and humbled but we’ve worked incredibly hard to achieve this victory.”

She is now in talks with Wakefield Council about standing down as a councillor in Pontefract and has handed in her resignation as a dermatology service manager with Virgin Care.

She told The Press: “One of my pledges is to be a full-time MP and I’ll fulfill that pledge.

“The area needs and deserves a full-time MP just as Pontefract needs and deserves someone who can give that role their full attention.”

Ms Sherriff was in London on Tuesday for the start of her induction into life at Westminster.

Next steps are finding a constituency office and hiring staff for here and London to help with casework.

Mr Reevell left the count, held at Cathedral House in Huddersfield, without speaking to the media.

But he told The Press yesterday (Thursday) that the Lib Dem collapse, centred on Dewsbury, and a big UKIP vote from Mirfield tipped the balance.

He said: “In the end we couldn’t off-set those two things happening at the same time.MEC web_9580

“The Lib Dem vote in Dewsbury went to Labour, though UKIP did us a favour there by taking votes from Labour.”

Mirfield proved crucial and Mr Reevell added: “If I’d won in Mirfield by the same margin as 2010 then we’d have won the election.”

In Batley and Spen, Mr Ameen fought off a strong UKIP challenge to come second behind winner Jo Cox. The new MP increased the majority of Labour stalwart Mike Wood by about 50 per cent.

She said: “I think people responded to the fact that we’ve knocked on far more doors than ever before and we’ve put out positive, engaging literature.

“And I think people have seen the energy and vitality that we’ve all thrown into it.

“That, coupled with the fact that I’m a local lass but I’ve worked internationally and nationally on all sorts of different issues, made people feel that I will be a really powerful voice for Batley and Spen.”

 

DEWSBURY & MIRFIELD

Paula Sherriff (Labour Party) - 22,406

Simon Reevell (Conservative Party) - 20,995

Mark Thackray (UK Independence Party) - 6,649

Ednan Hussain (Liberal Democrats) - 1,924

Adrian Cruden (Green Party) - 1,366

Richard Carter (Yorkshire First) - 236

Steve Hakes (Christian People's Alliance) - 94

Majority: 1,451

Turnout: 67 per cent

Labour gain from Conservative

 

BATLEY & SPEN

Jo Cox (Labour Party) - 21,820

Imtiaz Ameen (Conservative Party) - 15,769

Aleks Lukic (UK Independence Party) - 9,080

John Lawson (Liberal Democrats) - 2,396

Ian Bullock (Green Party) - 1,232

Dawn Wheelhouse (Trade Unionists and Socialist Party) - 123

Karl Varley (Patriotic Socialist Party) - 53

Majority: 6,051

Turnout: 64 per cent

Labour hold

 

• The premises of former MP Simon Reevell on Northgate in Dewsbury are now closed.

Anyone with ongoing casework or who wants to collect documents can call him on 01924 465008 or email simon@simonfordewsbury.com.

Those who need the help of their MP can send an email to Ms Sherriff at paula@paulasherriff.org.uk.

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