Senior shadow minister says Labour Mid Beds candidate will be a “strong voice”

Bridget Phillipson MP and Labour candidate Alistair Strathern at Marston Vale Middle School. Image: Labour Party
Bridget Phillipson MP and Labour candidate Alistair Strathern at Marston Vale Middle School. Image: Labour Party

If elected Labour’s Mid Beds candidate will be a “strong voice” representing the community’s interests, a senior MP has said.

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow secretary of state for education, was speaking during a visit to Marston Vale Middle School in Stewartby last week (29 September).

The school faces closure as part of the change from three-tier to two-tier education. Ms Phillipson was asked, if he was elected, how Alistair Strathern would help the transition.

“Alistair, as the local MP, would have a strong voice both towards the council but also in Parliament making clear that education is really important,” she said.

“But the community has to be involved in the change that’s taking place.

“Local people around here have not had that strong voice in parliament and feel desperately taken for granted.

“That’s why we’re fighting hard for every vote in this by-election but Labour are the only people that can beat the Conservatives,” she said.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service pointed out that the Liberal Democrats also claim to be the only party that can defeat the Conservatives.

“Well, the evidence doesn’t back up what they’re saying,” she replied.

“All of the independent evidence is very clear that only Labour can beat the Conservatives here.

“It’s going to be a tight run thing, but we’re fighting hard for every vote.

“We know, both in terms of the bookies odds and the independent evidence, it’s only Labour that can beat the Conservatives.

“So people want change they need to vote Labour,” she claimed.

Strathern has said that he would put the community first, does the Labour Party have room for an MP that ignores the whip?

“When you’re elected you obviously put your constituents first and foremost,” Ms Phillipson said.

“I know Alistair will absolutely do that, he’s from this area so he believes very strongly in delivering the best for local people, he will be a strong community champion.

“That’s what people will get, a visible, accessible member of parliament and they haven’t had that for a very long time,” she said.

The Mid Bedfordshire by-election will be held on 19 October, and 13 candidates are standing to replace the former MP, Nadine Dorries.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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