The General Election: Gloucester

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2013

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival 2013 - Credit: Nick Turner

The candidates running for the Gloucester constituency in the May 7 2015 General Election

Richard Graham, Conservatives / Photo: Kevin Fern

Richard Graham, Conservatives / Photo: Kevin Fern - Credit: Archant

Richard Graham

Conservative candidate for Gloucester & current MP

‘Richard Graham’s first priority when elected was to sort a new Gloucester Academy and in October 2013 Richard opened the brand new secondary school.

Richard was the second MP to take on his own apprentice, has organised 10 Jobs Fairs, helped organise 3 Apprenticeship/Skills Fairs and helped create the first Glosterpreneur Seminar entrepreneurs. He created the Gloucester History Festival, plays cricket for Gloucester City Winget CC, volunteers annually for the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, is Patron of the Discover de Crypt project and enabled 2,000 residents to visit the former Gloucester Prison for the first time in 2013.

Richard also pledged to regenerate the long abandoned Railway Triangle area, championing a business solution which has returned contaminated brown field land area to productive use. His next major vision is the regeneration of the Lower Blackfriars area of the city centre, combined with planned improvements to the bus station and Kings Sq, this should make a real difference to residents and tourists.’

Sophy Gardner

Labour candidate for Gloucester

Sophy Gardner, Labour / Photo: Northcliffe Media Ltd.

Sophy Gardner, Labour / Photo: Northcliffe Media Ltd. - Credit: Archant

‘Sophy Gardner MBE is the ex-RAF wing commander who is fighting the Gloucester seat for Labour in this year’s general election. She is deeply committed to establishing a fairer Britain, with an economic recovery working for all, not the few.

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She lives in the heart of Gloucester. Having served our country for 19 years, she left the Royal Air Force in 2011 and was one of the youngest women to reach the rank of Wing Commander.

Sophy saw active service in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the MBE in 2002. During her RAF career, she was promoted at the earliest opportunity at every rank, was the first woman in every job she was posted to, and worked hard to ensure that she left the opportunities for those coming up behind her in a better state than when she found them.

She left the RAF in 2011 and now runs a small business working with military charities.’

Sophy said: “The coalition government’s track record of broken promises, failure to tackle mounting debt, and general lack of decency towards Britain’s families inspired me to commit myself to campaigning for a Labour victory in 2015. I promise that I will be Gloucester’s representative in Westminster, not Westminster’s representative in Gloucester, working my absolute hardest for a bright future for our City.”

Richard Ford

UK Independence Party candidate for Gloucester

Richard Ford, UKIP / Photo:

Richard Ford, UKIP / Photo: - Credit: Archant

“I have lived and worked in Gloucester and Gloucestershire for 30 years and grew my own business from scratch to a £76 million turnover, employing nearly 300 local people. I’m the father of two teenage children, speak five European languages, have travelled extensively around the world, and have met people from every walk of life.

I started my working life as a toilet cleaner, and worked my way up to being the owner, chairman and managing director of the largest independently owned company in Gloucester.

I want to be Gloucester’s next MP because I believe I can bring my passion, drive, energy and commitment to fight for the people of Gloucester at Westminster.

I’m standing for UKIP because it’s the only party at the election fighting for Britain’s future against unelected Brussels bureaucrats. I will stand up for this country’s sovereignty, just as the City of Gloucester fought for parliamentary democracy in the English civil war.

I want to be your MP because I’ve lived in the real world, know the ups and downs of real life, and the daily challenges faced by families, pensioners and youngsters.”

Jeremy Hilton

Liberal Democrats candidate for Gloucester

Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrats

Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrats - Credit: Archant

‘Jeremy Hilton was born, educated and works in Gloucester. He lives in the heart of the city close to the cathedral and has fought the Gloucester seat three times before in 1987, 2005 and 2010 and has worked tirelessly for his home city for decades. With 22 years public service as a local councillor in Gloucester, Jeremy has the experience and determination to represent the city as its next MP. He has a good understanding of business having run his own import business in Gloucester and has been a director of Gloucestershire Airport Limited for seven years.

As the next MP for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton will work hard for a strong economy and fairer society, by:

• campaigning for good education for all Gloucester children and free school meals for everyone at primary school

• delivering better rail connections to Gloucester and a new central bus station

• raising the income tax free allowance to £12,500 and securing the triple lock, in law, for state pensions

• securing Gloucester’s regeneration with UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the cathedral, whilst building more affordable homes for young families

• increasing the number of apprenticeships for young people and ensuring a diverse and growing economy in Gloucester

• guaranteeing equal care and waiting times for mental health as for physical health, by increasing spending on the NHS

Jonathan Ingleby, Green Party

Jonathan Ingleby, Green Party - Credit: Archant

Jonathan Ingleby

Green Party candidate for Gloucester

‘Jonathan Ingleby has been a resident in Gloucester for 19 years, moving to the city in 1995 to teach Applied Theology at Redcliffe College. Previously, Jonathan worked in education for more than twenty years in India and has always been interested in anything to do with the Global South and social justice. He has published a number of books to do with Indian History, Globalisation and Postcolonialism. Recently he has become convinced that the issues surrounding the environment, particularly the need to promote Green economics, are vital to our future.

He has stood as a Green Party candidate in both the City and County elections. He was unanimously selected as Gloucester Green Party candidate for the upcoming General Election. Jonathan feels that the 2015 May General Election should be an ideal opportunity for people in Gloucester to express their dissatisfaction with the policies that are being endorsed by our current leaders. He wonders why we have to accept the politics of austerity, the attack on the NHS, the growth of inequality, the lack of decent affordable housing, the failure to tackle climate change – in short a track record of political failure in all the most important issues to do with our public life?

Instead he wants to commend the Green Party’s distinctive ideas: putting the environment before greed and profit, a living wage, a wealth tax, renationalisation of the railways, the abolition of profit making in the NHS, support for local businesses and much more. Jonathan is convinced that the moment has come for a radical change in our politics and that voting Green would be one way of making this happen. We do not have to put up with things as they are!’