The candidates running for Easington in the General Election

Easington candidates
Easington candidates

MEET the candidates gunning for your votes on May 7.

Luke Armstrong

Liberal Democrat

I became a Liberal Democrat as I want to see a fairer Britain, with a greater opportunity for all.

At a time when civil liberties are under threat, the Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to protecting the freedom of individuals.

I was born and raised in the North East and studied at the University of London (Goldsmiths).

Having worked with people with learning disabilities, I understand the problems faced by vulnerable people during economically difficult times. 

I believe that Easington constituency has suffered from years of decline under Labour, and that a new approach is needed to tackle poverty through raising aspiration and social mobility.

I also want to see greater investment in regeneration of brownfield sites leading to more employment growth, and the NHS given the funding it needs to meet demand – only the Lib Dems have pledged the £8billion a year required.

I’m proud of the Lib Dem record in government of taking thousands of the least well off in Easington out of income tax, reducing tax for all basic rate taxpayers, investing millions in local schools through the Pupil Premium, and introducing free school meals for under sevens and more free child care for under fours.

Jonathan Arnott

Ukip

Before getting involved in politics, I was a maths teacher.

I also set up a charity, and have done various other charitable and voluntary work including Hospital Radio.

Today I represent the whole of the North East region – from Darlington to Berwick – as Ukip’s first-ever local Member of the European Parliament.

I’m one of the most active MEPs of any Party (most speeches of anyone in the UK and second-most written Parliamentary questions).

But I believe that I could do much more to help local people if I were in Westminster not Brussels.

I’m currently living in Blackhall Colliery.

In my spare time, I’m a keen chess player, was in the England Under-21 squad, and have competed internationally on numerous occasions.

Steven Colburn

Socialist Party

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The Socialist Party are contesting this election, advocating a revolution in the way society is organised.

From one where production is for profit, benefitting a tiny section of the world’s population, to one which is based on production for “direct human use”, to benefit every man, woman and child.

This revolution will entail a revolution in the way we, the ordinary folk, see the world we live in and the social relationships within it.

By necessity, it will involve “real democracy”.

Each person having a direct say in decisions that effect them, not the sham we have today, where we vote in “representatives”, who more often than not, do precisely what “they” want, and not what benefits the majority.

There will be no leaders, nor elites, but merely human beings working together, collectively, to organise society in such a way, that “we all share” in the resources of the world, as free and equal people.

The other parties contesting this election, all offer variations on a theme, capitalism.

A system, that by its very existence, leaves the majority in various degrees of poverty, want, and insecurity.

The world has the resources to offer us all, so much more but only if it belongs to “us all”, equally.

Susan McDonnell

North East Party

I’ve lived in the Easington Constituency for almost 50 years and have worked alongside my local community for around 20.

When people ask me why I’m standing, my response is always that the North East deserves better than it’s been getting from the three Westminster parties.

Looking back over the last 36 years we’ve had Conservative, Labour and CoalitionGovernments; each of their ‘local’ candidates pledging to stand up for the people in their constituencies and as soon as they were elected, The North East of England was quickly forgotten, as they concentrated on toeing their national party lines with Westminster centred policies.

We’re no better off, regardless of which of them get in – and the last 36 years proves the point.

Ultimately, The North East Party wants devolution for The North East on a par with Scotland.

North East People, making decisions with North East People, for the benefit of North East People, in the North East of England.

Not another layer of bureaucracy and not more expense.

We would abolish the 12 local authority areas, get rid of all the fat cat wages and the millions of pounds worth of allowances and expense currently being received by hundreds of councillors.

One regional layer of government working with smaller community councils, at a fraction of the current cost.

More of the same isn’t good enough.

North East People deserve better.

Grahame Morris

Labour

My roots run deep in this area.

The traditional Labour values of fairness and social justice are ingrained and have shaped my character and political philosophy.

I was born in Easington attending schools in Murton then Peterlee and have spent most of my life in Murton and Seaham.

I understand the strengths and everyday challenges facing our constituency having served the communities of East Durham.

I previously worked in the NHS at Sunderland Royal Hospital performing diagnostic tests. I value the NHS, which has been at the centre of much of my campaigning work in Parliament.

The Tory-led Coalition Government have presided over huge cuts in public services and the biggest fall in living standards for working-class people since Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Labour in Government offers a plan that will promote a dynamic economy while protecting our NHS through a Time to Care Fund, abolish non-dom status and close tax loopholes, freeze energy prices, increase the minimum wage and end exploitative zero hour contracts.

I believe passionately that Labour offers a better fairer plan to run our country in a way that works for the many and not just the few at the top.

Martie Warin

Green

My name is Martie Warin. I’m 27 years old and I will be running in the general elections for Easington as your Green Party candidate.

Here’s some background info. I’m a musician and think that the arts are essential for any community to thrive.

As a strict vegetarian, I think that compassion and caring for both people and animals is vitally important for a prosperous and moral society to succeed.

I joined the Green Party in 2010 because I firmly believe that the policies of the Green Party, are what people, the planet and all of its inhabitants need, especially when we are in an era where all mainstream parties seem to offer is more of the same, austerity. People are disillusioned with politics for a reason, but given a chance I think that us Greens could change that.

I was elected as a Parish councillor for Easington Village in 2013. I care deeply about the community and try to help out where ever I can. I’m also on the committee of my local watering hole, ‘The Southside Social Club’, and thoroughly enjoy the time I spend there.

Austerity has failed, social injustice is rife, the working class, the poor, and the most vulnerable in our society have been getting a very bad deal in this area for far too long and if elected, I would aim to correct this social injustice. I am proud to call myself an Eco-Socialist.

Chris Hampsheir

Conservative

I am honoured to have been selected by The City of Durham and Easington Conservative Association as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Easington.

Born in Zambia, I am 29 and work as a pipelines engineer for an oil and gas engineering and construction company.

I am the son of a mining engineer and have spent most of my childhood moving across different countries around the world where his work would take us: including previously being based in Stockton and where I went to the nearby Yarm School.

As an engineer I will bring my knowledge and passion for the energy industry as the next MP for the Easington constituency to work with schools, colleges, business and government to put in place the skills, jobs and investment to deliver the change we need after decades of Labour domination and complacency.

We’ve come a long way from Labour’s great recession, which left us all with the biggest budget deficit in peacetime history.

But there’s so much more to do to make sure we see the investment, jobs and regeneration needed here right across the constituency.