CONSERVATIVES in Hartlepool are hoping to get Royal approval after selecting their parliamentary candidate for May’s election.
Richard Royal has been selected to stand for the Conservatives, and will join current Labour MP Iain Wright, UKIP’s Phillip Broughton and Independent candidate Stephen Picton on the ballot papers.
Hartlepool Conservative Group Leader, Coun Ray Martin-Wells, says he is confident that his candidate can put up a good fight.
Coun Martin-Wells said: “Richard has family links dating back over 100 years in the town.
“His great, great grandfather was a blacksmith who made the gates that still hang on the entrance to Stranton Grange Cemetery, while his great uncle was a porter at Hartlepool Workhouse.
“Several of his family work and live in the town, including at the covered market.”
Mr Royal, who is currently based in London but plans to move to Hartlepool in the run-up to the election, took part in last weekend’s hospital march alongside his mother, who has worked in the medical sector for 12 years.
He works as a Senior Corporate Affairs Manager at a soft drinks company, and is also a competitive swimmer, former lifeguard and swimming teacher. Last year he swam from Alcatraz to the San Francisco mainland, raising £1,600 for children’s mental health charity Young Minds, and is a former trustee of MIND and worked voluntarily for an autism charity.
Commenting on his priorities in the forthcoming election campaign, he said: “My family and I have personal experience of very similar issues regarding hospital closures and I aim to hold Iain Wright and the NHS Trust to account for their decision-making.
“My mum and I were on the march last Saturday and I’m very keen to work with and support local groups that have been fighting this cause for many years, rather than step on toes.
“I also want to push for further regeneration, making the most of our local heritage, bringing extra jobs and opportunities to the area, fighting for lower taxes for individuals and businesses, and making sure that the public’s money is spent more wisely.
“In addition I want to work with the new owners of Hartlepool United to find a positive solution to the disputes over the future of Victoria Park.”