Shipley zealots invite Philip Davies for tea and Harrogate teen tries to replace Bercow - seven things you might have missed on the Yorkshire election trail

0
Have your say

With less than two weeks to go on the General Election trail, The Yorkshire Post takes a look at some of the regional stories you might have missed.

Shipley zealots invite Philip Davies for tea

Local hustings are a staple of election season, but the events in Shipley on Tuesday ought to be a little livelier than normal.

It's been organised by grassroots group Shipley Feminists Zealots, which describes itself as being a group of local men and women "united in our opposition" to controversial Tory Philip Davies.

The group says Mr Davies, who has been MP since 2005, "once said women zealots want their cake and eat it so we thought we would organise a civilised event with tea and cakes".

Mr Davies, a noted opponent of political correctness, saw his majority cut from 9,624 in 2015 to 4,681 votes in 2017 - and at one during the most recent election night saw rumours flying about that he had lost.

Philip Davies, Tory candidate for Shipley

Philip Davies, Tory candidate for Shipley

And though Tuesday's event doesn't seem like an obvious vote-winner he is scheduled to attend, organisers say. Expect sparks to fly.

Pod's Own Country: The Yorkshire Post's Political Podcast

Read more: After changing the rules on political advertising, Google is setting out its own vision for democracy

Coalition convoy

There was a throwback to 2010 this week when, after recording an episode of The Yorkshire Post's podcast, Pod's Own Country Tory campaigner Alfie Thomlinson offered fellow York University student Matt Ward-Perkins, who was representing the Lib Dems, a lift home.

Mr Thomlinson joked it was a "cheeky coalition convoy", before adding: "It's important we all look beyond our political allegiances in life!"

Wild Bradford West

Voters in Bradford have reacted with confusion after hearing one of the candidates looking to represent them on December 12 is registered as living in Pakistan.

Azfar Shah Bukhari is among the candidates running in the Bradford West constituency in the election on December 12.

Details provided to voters by Mr Bukhari are minimal – just his name and that he is registered to an address in Pakistan. There is no party affiliation listed.

In 2017 the Bradford West seat was retained by Labour's Naz Shah, who received 64.7 per cent of the vote. And apart from Ms Shah every candidate for Bradford West lives in another constituency.

Ned's teenage dreams

With John Bercow standing down, the good folk of Buckingham will finally get a chance to choose their MP next month following a decade where tradition dictates the Commons Speaker stands unopposed.

Among the crowded field of candidates vying to replace Mr Bercow is 19-year-old Ned Thompson, who grew up in Harrogate and only left Harrogate Grammar School this summer.

The University of Buckingham student's younger brother Rufus and parents Rob and Alison still live in the town and run Appetite For Life, a local bar company.

Describing his adopted patch, Mr Thompson says it is a "market town just like Harrogate", adding: "Growing up here has given him, he believes a unique insight into how market towns work and what issues they face."

From Wollongong to York Central for Dr Snedden

Among the 28 candidates standing for the Yorkshire Party in the election, Dr Andrew Snedden has an eye-catching back story.

A University of York postgraduate and founder of the York Keyboard School, the York Central hopeful lives in York and works as a private tutor and academic researcher.

But he was born in Wollongong, part of New South Wales in Australia, and studied music and philosophy at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music and The University of Wollongong, before moving to the UK.

His experience Down Under certainly chimes with the Yorkshire Party's key beliefs about strengthening regional structures and re-balancing the economy.

His statement says: "As an Australian, Andrew has experience of living in a country with regional (state) parliaments, and is a passionate advocate of decentralised government, economic justice and an environmentally sustainable future."

Things can only get better

The daughter of Labour candidate in Don Valley Caroline Flint, Hanna Flint, wrote in magazine Grazia this week about her experience of her mother being an MP. Some of it was pretty grim, including her revelation of the abuse her mother faced.

But it also included a throwback to simpler times, as Hanna recalled being 10 years old in her family's Ford wearing a red t-shirt, with Things Can Only Get Better blaring from the radio. Readers won't be surprised to hear her mother was elected at the height of New Labour's popularity in 1997.

Farage gets in the swing of things in Hull

It was hard to miss Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Yorkshire this week, as he was cheered on by enthusiastic party audiences in the region's Leave-backing constituencies.

On Thursday he visited a golf driving range in Hull, before going to Trinity Market and The Three John Scotts pub alongside Michelle Dewberry, the party's candidate for Hull West and Hessle and the winner of series two of The Apprentice.

Earlier in the week he spoke at an event at Doncaster Racecourse and met voters at a working men's club in Barnsley, before walking around a market in the Labour-held town.

"What I've got to do in the next two weeks is to persuade people who are thinking of voting Conservative in Labour-Leave seats where the Conservatives have never won, that if they vote Conservative they are splitting the Leave vote and wasting their vote," he told reporters. "If I can do that, we'll get some people in."

This might be a little ambitious - according to polling this week the Brexit Party is set to get just three per cent of the vote and return precisely zero MPs.