The Social Democratic Party (SDP) have announced David Bettney, a former soldier in the army for 22 years, will be the party’s candidate for the upcoming Hartlepool by-election.
The SDP was founded in 1981, and revived itself in 2018 as a party built to preserve and sustain the institutions of the family, the community, and the nation.
Mr Bettney, 51, who was a regimental sergeant major in The Light Dragoons, said: “Hartlepool is a fantastic town with a wonderful community and I’m proud that I’ve been chosen by the SDP to stand as its MP.
“Sadly, despite the potential of this town and its people, Hartlepool has been let down by politicians for decades.
“If elected as an SDP MP, I’ll serve only the people of this town – not the party machines.
“I’ll work night and day to make sure the Government delivers the investment and services that this town needs to prosper.”
Mr Bettney, who is married with three children, joined the army as a trooper aged 17 and served in operational tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan while rising through the ranks.
Since leaving the army over a decade ago he has become an entrepreneur in the oil and gas industry, having built several construction, logistics and storage companies from the ground-up in the Middle East.
Mr Bettney has criticised Labour for “taking Hartlepool for granted” and not doing enough about the loss of jobs and industry.
He also hit out at Conservative governments for stripping Hartlepool of “vital public services” and letting police numbers fall.
William Clouston, leader of the SDP, added: “We’re determined to end the dominance by the two broken main parties, and we believe Hartlepool to be the place to do it.
“We are going to make Hartlepool go down in history as the place where British democracy was restored.”
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