Northampton

General election 2017: Candidates in Corby marginal seat profiled

Corby Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The average house price in Corby has risen from £26,200 in 1986 to £173,500 in 2016

The constituency of Corby looks set to be one of the most fiercely-contested seats in the 2017 general election.

It will be targeted by Labour, which lost the seat in 2015 and only needs a 2.15% swing to regain it.

The Northamptonshire marginal was created in 1983 and for the first 14 years was represented by Conservative William Powell.

He lost to Labour's Phil Hope in 1997, who in turn lost to writer Louise Mensch in 2010.

A by-election caused by Ms Mensch's decision to spend more time with her family in New York saw Labour's Andy Sawford regain the seat from the Tories in 2012.

But three years later he lost out to Conservative Tom Pursglove, who had a majority of 2,412.

Image copyright Lewis Clarke/Geograph
Image caption Corby once had a thriving steelworks, but it was hit hard by the industry's decline

Mr Pursglove was a supporter of Brexit, which was backed by 64% of people in Corby.

As well as Brexit being a big issue, the constituency has seen huge rise in the cost of homes, pricing many young families out of the market.

In January this year the Halifax bank revealed that in Corby the average house price had risen from £26,200 in 1986 to £173,500 in 2016 (a 561% rise).

Corby, which was designated a new town in 1950, once had a thriving steelworks, but was hit hard by the industry's decline, with the unemployment rate hitting more than 30% in the 1980s.

But new industry and redevelopment projects helped the unemployment rate in the town return to the national average by 1991.

The constituency also includes more rural parts of east Northamptonshire.

Here is a look at the constituency candidates, in alphabetical order according to their surname:


Beth Miller (Labour)

Image copyright Beth Miller

Why should you be an MP?

I grew up here, I went to local schools, and my family and friends are here - I want the best for this constituency. I have worked in Westminster for five years so I know how to get things done there, too; and I will fight to protect our vital public services.

What issue would get your vote?

I am campaigning as a local voice for Corby and East Northamptonshire. I am determined to fight the savage Tory cuts to our vital public services, including the NHS, social care and our schools.

If elected, what would you definitely deliver?

You can read my five pledges at bethmiller.org.uk. I will deliver strong local healthcare and will fight to keep the Corby Urgent Care Centre open. Recently, Prof Robert Harris, the man who runs the centre, and 40 local nurses and other healthcare professionals publicly declared their support for me.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I used to play a lot of football and compete in cross country competitions. I was OK at cross country but football was my passion. As a kid and a teenager I spent most Saturdays and Sundays on the football pitch, including for Rushden and Diamonds, based in Irthlingborough.

If you could have anyone in the world as prime minister (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Sir Alex Ferguson would be straight talking with the public and is clearly a good leader. I'm not sure he'd like No. 10 though. I think J K Rowling would make a good PM, too. Fictionally, Malcolm Tucker could give us some entertainment.


Tom Pursglove (Conservative)

Image copyright Tom Pursglove

Why should you be an MP?

As someone who grew up in our area, I want to continue to serve my community. I believe the role of the local MP is to listen to residents' views and campaign hard on those issues - exactly what my 'Listening to Corby & East Northamptonshire' campaign does.

What issue would get your vote?

General elections are all about leadership - at a local level, but also at a national level. In this election, there is a very clear choice - delivering strong and stable government is vital.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

If I am re-elected, I will continue to work hard on behalf of local people - campaigning tirelessly on the big local issues, such as steel, overdevelopment, and health services, whilst helping to deliver the best possible EU 'exit' deal and controlling immigration.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

The perception is that politicians love bickering - I hate it. Instead, I much rather work across party lines to get things done, as I have on the steel issue, and as I did in the EU Referendum, as a founder of the cross-party Grassroots Out campaign.

If you could have anyone in the world as prime minister (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

I believe in the here and now - we should learn from the past, but look to the future. Theresa May has had a fantastic start as prime minister and has the leadership qualities required to take the tough decisions and get things done.


Steven Scrutton (Green Party)

Image copyright Green Party

Why should you be an MP?

There is no reason why I should be an MP but there is every reason why we need Green MPs to ensure that the UK government pursues policies to protect our environment, and ensure the future of the planet, the only one we have to live on.

What issue would get your vote in a general election?

The most important issue should be environmental policy; protection from climate change; for clean renewable energy; to combat air pollution; to move to sustainable agriculture on depleted intensively farmed soils, protecting our oceans, to develop green jobs, and a greener, safer environment to live in.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

An immediate disinvestment from environmentally harmful investments, HS2; nuclear power; Trident renewal; passing an Environmental Protection Act, setting up a green investment and innovation centre, spending the savings on these schemes to invest in green energy, controlling pollution, and making other green investments to help and support the environment.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

There is nothing surprising about me. I love listening to classical music, watching Northants cricket, and walking my Labrador in the lovely Northamptonshire countryside.

If you could have anyone in the world as prime minister (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

Mahatma Ghandi, alongside Carolyn Lucas and Jonathan Bartley?


Chris Stanbra (Liberal Democrat)

Image copyright Chris Stanbra

Why should you be an MP?

I have lived in the constituency, in Corby, for more than 35 years. I have two grown up children. I have worked for local small businesses and served as a councillor. I believe that this experience, in life, work and public service qualifies me to be an MP.

What issue would get your vote?

Brexit. I'd vote for a party that was against Brexit and wanted to keep Britain in the EU.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

I'd deliver a hard working, campaigning MP who would live in Corby and work on behalf of all the residents of Corby and East Northamptonshire.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I met my wife on a blind date. We've been married nearly 34 years.

If you could have anyone in the world as prime minister (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

Nelson Mandela. An inspirational leader.


Sam Watts (UKIP)

Image copyright Sam Watts

Why should you be an MP?

Because I believe in my ability to serve the people of Corby and East Northants with passion, dedication and first hand experience of growing up in the the area. I feel I can be a strong voice for those whom feel unheard and feel that politicians do not truly represent them.

What issue would get your vote?

I would vote for someone looking to truly bring the community together. We have a sense of division at the moment with Brexit and a growing wealth divide. Community spirit is strong locally but we need an MP that is able to bridge the gaps within our society.

If elected what would you definitely deliver?

I would deliver an MP that engages with every aspect of the community and champions the area to encourage investment, jobs and a sense of local pride. I would be an MP for the people by putting them at the heart of everything I do in Parliament. I will put people before party.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I used to work for Corby Town Centre Security and would often be seen running around chasing shoplifters. It would appear that I have a bit of a thing for helping keep Corby safe and now that my knees can't handle chasing people anymore I guess politics is my current way of trying to help people.

If you could have anyone in the world as prime minister (alive, dead or fictional), who would it be?

Barack Obama - I think he was a great US President who served with dignity. No scandals just a dedication to serve. He also has a good sense of humour and was able to connect with a wide range of people, which I admire.

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