General Election 2019: Oldham West and Royton candidates

Oldham West and Royton sees a seven way battle for your vote on Thursday, December 12.

Jim McMahon won the seat by just over 17,000 votes in 2017.

The serving MP will again be standing for Labour but there is a real fight, with the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, UKIP, the Green Party, and the Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth Party fielding candidates.

Anyone registered to vote will receive a polling card which confirms their constituency and polling station, or postal or proxy voting details.

Polling stations will be open on December 12 from 7am until 10pm.

You can contact the electoral services team at Oldham Council by calling 0161 770 4718 or write to: Elections Office, Oldham Council, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1UL.


Oldham West and Royton candidates

Jim McMahon, Labour Party

Serving as the Labour & Co-operative MP for Oldham West and Royton for the last four years has been a huge privilege for me.

But sitting across from the Tories as they complete a lost decade of austerity has been difficult, when I know the human cost on my constituents. 

The decade of Tory austerity we have endured has demonstrated that our public services are not safe in Tory hands.

I have always and will always strive for greater investment in our NHS, police and fire services, transport and in education. 

Over the last four years I have tried to ensure that towns like Chadderton, Oldham and Royton get their fair share. 

I know that with the right investment we can succeed, and I will spend all my time in politics making sure that we get our fair share; no more no less. 

If re-elected I will ensure Chadderton, Oldham and Royton have a voice on the national stage, and continue to campaign for the issues that matter to local people, like supporting WASPI women mistreated by the Tories, fighting for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal, fighting for the over-75s to keep their free TV licenses and for Universal Credit to be scrapped.

We need a Labour government to rebuild Britain, invest in our public services and stitch back together the fabric of our public realm.


Garth Harkness, Liberal Democrats

Garth is an autism specialist teacher who runs a resource provision for students with autism so they can access mainstream secondary education. 

He is growing increasingly concerned with the cuts to education funding since 2015 and this is having a huge impact on supporting the most vulnerable in schools. He thinks the cuts need to be reversed and further investment is needed to support those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Garth has been a councillor on Oldham Council since 2012 and is currently Shadow Cabinet member for Education and Skills.

Garth believes the public should have the final say on Brexit. A referendum took place in 2016 but the realities are becoming clearer. There will not be the £350 million a week extra for our NHS. Instead we stand to see shortages of drugs and shortages of staff in hospitals. The 2016 referendum was built upon lies and this is reflected in the fact the electoral commission would call the result null and void. 

Garth does not want years of uncertainty, a weaker economy and cuts to education, health and local government.

He does not want Oldham to lose support from the European Social Fund. It has taken years already not to get an agreement on how to leave Europe. It will take many more years to actually agree trade agreements with Europe and the rest of the world.

Garth believes we are neglected by Westminster already in Oldham. The problem lies in Westminster and not in Europe.  

Garth believes we should put more money into the NHS and social care by increasing income tax by 1p. He feels mental health services should no longer be a second class service and early interventions should be the norm.


Kirsty Finlayson, Conservative

Kirsty is a commercial disputes solicitor at national law firm Browne Jacobson and is from Tower Hamlets, East London.

Kirsty has stood for Parliament before in 2017 where she stood in East Ham and was also a candidate in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

She is currently a voluntary director for 50:50 Parliament-a cross-party campaign aiming to get more women into public office.

She is also a voluntary communications director for British Conservation Alliance, a cross-party organisation dedicated to empowering students to engage in the principles of pro-market environmentalism and conservative conservation.

In her spare time, Kirsty volunteers as a Samaritan for the mental health charity.

She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be standing in Oldham West & Royton.

“For too long, Labour has considered this a safe seat. We now have an incredible opportunity to show Jim McMahon that people neither want Corbyn as Prime Minister nor a second referendum.

“I campaigned to leave the EU and was a voluntary counting agent for the vote leave campaign. Oldham West & Royton voted to leave by more than 61 percent.

“We must get Brexit done, so we can start investing in our schools, police and NHS.

“I was delighted that the Prime Minister has already visited the constituency during this General Election campaign to show his commitment to the area.”


Debbie Cole, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth Party

A disabled grandmother who has beaten cancer three times, Debbie is Oldham through and through. 

A longstanding community campaigner, strong in her values, Debbie has never backed down from fighting on behalf of those who are unable to fight for themselves.

At the forefront of the campaign calling for an independent investigation into historical cases of child abuse, Debbie recently faced down a room full of politicians who refused to respond to concerns shared across the community. 

Even facing arrest, refusing to back down, she demonstrated a fearless act of civil disobedience that has since inspired an entire town.

Not at all a career politician playing to the crowds, Debbie calls it how she sees it. 

Each time, her views and opinions are shaped by a set of traditional working class values that define the people of Oldham and Saddleworth. 

Values that run through the veins of good people from across all communities and from all ethnic backgrounds. Values such as honesty, integrity and fairness.

Debbie does not fear the fake accusations of racism, sexism or any other ‘ism’ that political opponents have used for decades to silence working class people of Oldham and keep them in their place. 

A reluctant politician, Debbie is standing knowing full well the enormity of the challenge that faces her.

On December 12, you finally have a chance to vote for someone who will put the people of Oldham and Saddleworth first. Vote Proud. Vote Debbie Cole.


Helen Formby, Brexit Party

Helen has lived all her 49 years in Lancashire and currently lives in Bolton, another old mill town like Oldham that has suffered underinvestment and decline over the decades. 

Helen is not a professional politician but became interested in politics following the 2016 referendum and the subsequent refusal of our elected representatives to carry out the democratic wishes of 17.4 million people who voted to leave. 

As a businesswoman, she has a lot of ‘real world’ experience, running the family bookbinding business in Ramsbottom, repairing antique books.

She said: “I am standing because I have a strong belief in democracy and I want the UK to be a sovereign country, in control of it’s own borders, laws and money. 

“We are a great nation, with a huge potential to succeed and excel around the world. Democracy has been betrayed and needs defending.

“I want to ensure the peoples voices of Oldham West and Royton are heard loud and clearly in Westminster. 

Oldham West and Royton voted 61.31 percent to leave in the referendum. Three-and-a-half years later we still have not left. 

“I want their opinions to be respected and their concerns properly addressed. 

“I want to change politics for good and bring back power to the people. Politicians need reminding that they were elected to represent their constituents.

“My local priorities are to make Oldham safer, improve policing and access to healthcare. 

“Building on green belt land needs to stop while we still have lots of brown field sites to build on. 

“We need to regenerate our town centres and high streets and encourage investment into infrastructure. This will help to grow the local economy and improve job prospects.” 


Daniel Jerrome, Green Party

I am delighted to have been selected for Oldham West and Royton. 

I believe you deserve the chance to have a Green option on your ballot paper. 

We are the only party leading on the climate crisis and we are asking for an economy that works for all. 

In May 2018, I was elected as a councillor in local elections in Trafford. 

Since then, we were the first council in Greater Manchester to declare a climate emergency and now I want to challenge Oldham Council to fully implement theirs. 

We need climate justice nationally and I will be fighting for a Green New Deal. 

We can start by scrapping HS2 and investing in our local trains, buses, walking and cycling.

I have passed policy that bans the badger cull, worked on developing policy that will see trees and wildflower areas extended and the phasing out of dangerous weed killers and pesticides. 

I have also worked with other parties to end fracking and to call for a People’s Vote. 

Greens all over the country are leading the fight to create a fairer economy and environment that benefit all. 

I am someone who has spent time talking to residents and I have listened to the real concerns about air pollution, loss of greenspace and the lack of involvement for people in local decision making. 

This election is our chance to send a Green message. You can elect someone who will listen and represent your concerns. 

You can elect someone that will hold the other parties to account.


Anthony Prince, UK Independence Party

I am a local working class lad, born and bred in Oldham.

I’ve been actively campaigning for Brexit for the last five years, longer than any other Brexiteer standing against me.

UKIP are the only political party that is committed to a clean break from the EU.

If elected I will help deliver the Brexit you voted for.

I will make sure that every ward in Oldham has a youth centre. This will reduce antisocial behaviour and give our children a much needed safe place to play in the evenings.

I will enter discussions with banks to try and bring back local banks in areas that are most affected by the loss of banks across the borough.

I’d want to abolish inheritance tax, scrap the TV licence and abolish bedroom tax.

I’d also look to end the ATOS-style work capability assessments.

Cancer has affected a few people in my life including myself. If elected I will donate 20pc of my salary to Maggie’s Oldham.

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