The nominations for the Whickham South and Sunniside by-election in Gateshead closed yesterday. The vacancy has been caused by the death of my ward colleague Councillor Alan Ord.
Our candidate is John McClurey, who lives in Sunniside, near to my house. He is something of a local hero. He runs a shop in Newcastle and in May he saved a young mum and her daughter from a house fire. Someone rushed into his shop asking him to call the fire service. But John also mounted a rescue, broke through into the first floor of the house and battled through smoke and flames to rescue the mum and toddler. He is just the sort of person I want on our local Focus team!
We have a Tory candidate standing. Don't really know anything about him. I'm sure he is a nice person but I am not aware of having met him before. Basically though the Tories put up candidates in Gateshead, they put out no leaflets (certainly not in my area) and very few of their candidates go to the count. There are of course no Conservatives on Gateshead Council.
The Labour candidate on the other hand is well known to us and comes with a large amount of baggage, most of which has been hung around her neck by the antics of a third rate amateur in the Labour party who day dreams about being an effective campaigner. My plea to the Labour party is that they put in charge of their campaign this latter person. He is, after all, a gift to us and his mad leaflets and absurd, unbelievable claims have won us lots and lots of votes. So come on Labour, put him in charge!!!
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