Who's contesting Luton North? Candidates reveal why they're standing and what they will do for you
As Britain gets ready for the General Election on December 12, we asked all seven Parliamentary candidates for Luton North to tell us why they are standing and what they will do for you.
LABOUR - SARAH OWEN
"From our schools to the NHS to policing and housing - Luton North will see greater investment but only with a Labour Government and a Labour MP.
"I’ve worked in care, on hospital wards and in the fire brigade which means I have real life experience outside of politics and know how devastating Conservative cuts have been to Luton. Working with the community, I’ll fight tooth and nail for the investment Luton needs, bringing jobs to the area and supporting regeneration developments like that of the new football ground for Luton Town FC.
"I will use my proven track record of campaigning and changing laws to better protect ordinary working people to deliver the real change needed in Luton.
"Like many people in the town, I may not have been born here but I will live, work and breathe Luton for the many and not the few."
CONSERVATIVES - JEET BAINS
"I am honoured to be standing as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Luton North for the Conservative Party. As a Councillor in the London Borough of Croydon for nine years, I’ve been helping people with a wide range of issues. I’ve worked internationally and held senior positions in areas such as Health, Policing and Housing. My wife and I have two wonderful teenage children, and I know what it’s like to balance competing demands in a busy life. We need an experienced individual, not a novice.
"My priorities for Luton North are more jobs, better housing, and even more funding for the NHS. Labour’s infighting shows their disdain for Luton North. I will end this and focus on economic investment.
"Luton voted to Leave the EU, as did I – let’s get Brexit done. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is clear that he has always respected the result of the referendum and will join me in getting Brexit done at every opportunity.”
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - LINDA JACK
"With the Labour and Tory parties so obsessed with their internal splits and infighting they have ceased to care about the crisis facing our country, only the Liberal Democrats now offer a clear vision for the future.
"Johnson’s Tory government wants to take Britain over the cliff edge of a seriously damaging no-deal Brexit and Corbin’s Labour Party cannot make up its mind what it wants to do. It’s clear both parties still see what’s good for their party as more important than what’s good for the country.
“There is no conceivable form of Brexit which would not seriously limit the employment opportunities for Luton young people... Major employers all over the Country have moved operations to other EU countries or are planning to do so and large Luton employers like Vauxhall will be seriously disadvantaged.
"Unless the current EU licensing arrangements are continued our successful airport, responsible for around 10,000 mainly local jobs, will suffer.”
BREXIT - SUDHIR SHARMA
"Sudhir was born in Punjab, India, in the 1960s and immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1980. He began his working life in Britain on the shop floor and has gone on to establish and grow a number of successful businesses in property, telecoms and retail. He hopes to use his experience and knowledge of enterprise to help create greater opportunities for all in Luton.
"Sudhir believes that Luton North was quite right when it voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016.
"The economic and democratic potential of Luton and the United Kingdom is vast, but will only be realised when we are finally free to establish new relationships with our friends and partners across the globe."
GREEN PARTY - SIMON HALL
“I have been a member of the Green Party for fifteen years, and held the position of local party treasurer for five years. If elected, I will do my very best to serve our local community and to implement Green policies on a local and national level.”
“I have chosen to make Luton my home because of the opportunities the town has given me, the multicultural community here, the public transport links to other towns, and the wide range of public services, entertainment and shops.”
“I am aware of the issues facing our town, and which areas need improving. I’m keen to improve outsiders’ perception of the town, and to continue to make it a town in which people are proud to live and work, attracting new business to the town.”
“The world is facing a climate crisis, and now, more than ever, we need Green voices in Parliament.”
WOMEN'S EQUALITY PARTY - SERENA LAIDLEY
"I stood against Kelvin Hopkins because he remains under investigation for sexual harassment four years after the Labour Party were told of the allegations against him.
"I am still standing to protest the fact that, although Hopkins has now resigned, Labour have still not concluded their investigation. This sends the message that tackling harassment isn’t a priority.
"Like many other women, I am a survivor of male violence. We should be able to look to our political parties to take the lead on tackling harassment and abuse, rather than turning a blind eye.
"Violence against women and girls is an issue that affects every community in our country, including hundreds of women in Luton every year.
"With this campaign, the Women's Equality Party are hoping to force all parties to take ending violence seriously at both national and local level because we believe women in Luton and across the country deserve better."
INDEPENDENT - DR YASIM REHMAN
"I am a family centred person and have lived in Luton for over 30 years, along with my family. I was educated firstly here and subsequently at the Universities of Leeds, Cambridge and Oxford. I believe it’s time to pay back to my country and, most especially, to Luton. I believe in justice, fairness, equality, rights and a better life for everyone.
"I know Luton North well and have campaigned across the constituency for years. I know people are looking for positive change. I am an independent candidate with no ties to party politics.
"I am a proud, faithful and committed Lutonian and will do all I can to listen and serve the people of Luton. I will campaign for equality in healthcare; prevention and reduction of crime; more social housing; improvements in education; building community cohesion, tolerance and respect; and celebrating our diverse Town.
"This election is about more than just BREXIT! It is about the future of this our United Kingdom. The current politicians and parties have failed us on Brexit. Luton needs a strong Independent MP. We need to take power away from self-serving politicians and give it back to ordinary people."