Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Frontline Politics; TORIES CALL UP EX-ARMED FORCES CANDIDATES

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Frontline Politics; TORIES CALL UP EX-ARMED FORCES CANDIDATES

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN Reporter james.cain@reachplc.com @JIMMYMCAIN

EX-SERVICEMEN have been drafted in by the Conservatives to win the battle of Redcar and Cleveland.

The Conservatives are fielding a former Royal Marine, an ex-Royal Engineer, an ex-airman and a former RAF flight lieutenant in their campaign to establish electoral superiority in Redcar and Cleveland's local elections in May.

Currently, Labour runs Redcar and Cleveland Council with 28 councillors under the leadership of Cllr Sue Jeffrey.

But, with 59 seats up for grabs, that means Labour leads with a minority administration.

In theory, the votes of the 31 opposition councillors - 11 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats and nine independents could overturn any council vote.

But in practice, Tory, Lib Dem and independent councillors tend to split the vote - giving a united Labour front the power to push through its agenda.

So for the Conservatives, increasing the size of their voting block is crucial. And despite being a traditional Labour area, Conservative candidate Tim Dobson - standing in his home village of Brotton - said voters in Redcar and Cleveland actually have more in common with the Tories.

"When I first talked to my MP Simon Clarke and Cllr Steve Turner, I wanted to know how I could help do more for Brotton," he said.

"I understand we might be seen as a traditional Labour supporting area, but like many others I speak to, I believe today's Conservative Party, represented by people like Simon and Mayor Ben Houchen, has far more in common with my beliefs and values than anyone I see speaking for Labour.

I wanted to "When you add in the fact Jeremy Corbyn has shown on numerous occasions that he is no supporter of the armed forces then it was an easy choice to make."

I could help " It's going to be all change in Skelton this May. The curently existing Skelton ward will be split into the newly formed Skelton East and Skelton West.

Looking to take Skelton East is former RAF flight lieutenant Cliff Foggo - the current councillor for Skelton. …

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