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Councillor hoping to fight Keighley seat at next General Election
The man in charge of children’s services at Bradford Council has announced he hopes to unseat Keighley MP Kris Hopkins at the next general election.
With more than 19 months left until the General Election, Councillor Ralph Berry launched his campaign during the weekend to become the constituency Labour candidate in 2015, claiming the seat was one the party had to win if it is to regain power nationally.
Coun Berry has sat on Bradford Council since 1991, and is currently the executive member in charge of children and young people’s services, as well as representing Wibsey. Aside from the council, he has worked as a probation officer and in family courts, as well as being involved in the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Former Bradford Council leader Kris Hopkins won the seat for the Conservative party in the 2010 election, before which the MP was Labour’s Ann Cryer.
Coun Berry believes Keighley is the perfect example of the type of place the coalition government has failed in its three years in power, and wants to return it to Labour control.
A message sent out to potential voters announcing his running said: “You will know Keighley is a seat Labour must win to be able to form a Government, and as we know Keighley is suffering from this Tory-led coalition government’s attacks on working people and families.”
“I know how to organise campaigns and win elections, and I have a proven track record of working with all communities.
“To win Keighley, we need to reach out to the thousands of voters who did not vote or did not vote Labour in 2010, and who will look to a strong united Labour Party to heal the damage of this divisive and cruel government.”
He said that if elected, he hopes to bring more industry and jobs into the area and “strengthen our diverse communities”.
Coun Berry said Keighley had been particularly hard hit by the government’s austerity measures, and he is familiar with many of the issues facing the town from his role in child safeguarding at the council.
He added: “This is something I’ve been looking to do for a while.
“I’m passionately committed to getting better outcomes for the young families in the area. Keighley has been hugely effected by youth unemployment and that has hit families hard. Keighley is the type of place that needs to tell Cameron ‘time to go’. He intends to continue in his role on the council’s executive until the election.
Several other candidates are expected to announce their intention to challenge Coun Berry for the Labour ticket in the coming weeks.