The candidates set for Wellingborough by-election


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Polling stations across the Wellingborough constituency will be open from 07:00 to 22:00 GMT on Thursday, 15 February

A by-election will be held in Wellingborough on 15 February following a recall petition in the Northamptonshire constituency.

The petition was prompted by Peter Bone’s suspension from the House of Commons for six weeks for breaching the code of conduct for MPs.

North Northamptonshire Council said voters in the constituency would start to receive their poll cards on 19 January.

The poll cards will include information on how to arrange a postal or proxy vote for those who cannot make it to their polling station on the day.

Anyone who is eligible to vote but is not registered has until 30 January to register following the process on the council website.

Following a law change last year, people who vote in person on 15 February will have to remember to bring a form of photo ID with them.

The nominations of candidates closed at 16:00 GMT on Tuesday.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Nick the flying Brick – The Official Monster Raving Loony Party

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Nick the flying Brick is standing for The Official Monster Raving Loony Party

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party was established in the UK in 1982 by the musician David Sutch, also known as Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow, or simply Lord Sutch.

Nick the flying Brick, the party’s “shadow minster for abolishing gravity” has stood elsewhere in the UK in previous general elections and by-elections.

According to the Official Monster Raving Loony Party website other policies include Wellingborough Golf Club being developed into an intergalactic space port and fishing made a spectator sport by introducing piranha into the River Nene.

He said: “I am very pleased to be standing for the Wellingborough by-election.”

The candidate said he was hoping for “a loony landslide”.

Note: The candidate’s surname is listed as Brick, hence he appears first in the alphabetical list.

Ana Savage Gunn – Liberal Democrat

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Ana Savage Gunn will fight the Wellingborough seat for the Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrat candidate was born in Northamptonshire and grew up in the county.

She joined Northamptonshire Police in 1985 and rose to the rank of inspector, serving across the county – including in Wellingborough – and she supervised the tactical firearms team.

Ms Savage Gunn helped run security for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and later became a law enforcement consultant in the US, before her return to the UK and Northamptonshire.

When Covid-19 broke out she retrained as a health care assistant and worked in her mother’s care home, before becoming a Covid clinic co-ordinator in the county.

She continues to work at the care home, and is a trustee of Northamptonshire Carers, in Wellingborough.

Ms Savage Gunn said the party was “about people, society [and] fairness and all of their polities just speak to me”.

She said she was “not a politician” and would put the “community first”.

Note: Gunn is used as the candidate’s primary surname, hence she appears second in the alphabetical list.

Ben Habib – Reform UK

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Reform UK has selected Ben Habib as its candidate for Wellingborough

The candidate for Reform UK is the party’s co-deputy leader and a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Brexit Party.

Reform UK, previously the Brexit Party, was co-founded by Nigel Farage in 2018.

Mr Habib is a property developer and fund manager, and previously a donor to the Conservatives.

The 58-year-old said: “I intend to give the Wellingborough by-election the best swing of my bat and if I am elected I will stand in the Commons and hold this wretched government to account to the very best of my ability.”

Helen Harrison – Conservative

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Helen Harrison previously ran for election in 2017

Ms Harrison represents the Oundle ward on North Northamptonshire Council and is executive member for adults, health and wellbeing on the unitary authority.

She also previously ran for Parliament in 2017 in the Derbyshire constituency of Bolsover – losing to Labour veteran Dennis Skinner, who in turn lost the “red wall” seat to the Conservatives in 2019.

Ms Harrison said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the candidate for Wellingborough.

“As the local candidate, I am best suited to deliver for the people of Wellingborough, having already done so on a local authority level.”

She is also the partner of Mr Bone, who was first elected to the seat in 2005.

Ankit Love Jay Mala – Independent

The BBC has contacted this candidate for more information about their campaign.

Note: The candidate’s surname is listed as Jay Mala hence their position in the alphabetical list.

Gen Kitchen – Labour

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Labour has selected Gen Kitchen as its candidate for Wellingborough

Labour’s candidate grew up in Northamptonshire and went to John Hellins Primary School in Towcester, and Kingsbrook secondary school – now Elizabeth Woodville School – in Roade. She has worked in the charity sector her whole career.

In 2019, she stood as prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour in the South Northamptonshire constituency – losing to the Conservatives’ Andrea Leadsom.

After her selection in November, the Ms Kitchen said: “Residents here are already telling me that they’re fed up with the state of the town centre, anti-social behaviour blighting our high streets and the 8am scramble for a GP appointment.

“Labour has a plan to tackle these issues that impact so many here, but I will start by giving Wellingborough a voice in Westminster and working hard to restore pride in our town and villages.”

Alex Merola – Britain First

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Alex Merola is standing for Britain First in the Wellingborough by-election

Britain First registered as a political party after its application was approved by the Electoral Commission in 2021.

The party campaigns on an anti-immigration message and has called for a halt to all further immigration except in specific cases.

On social media Mr Merola is described as an activist for the party.

The BBC has contacted Britain First for more information on its candidate and campaign.

Will Morris – Green Party

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Will Morris has been selected as the Green Party candidate for Wellingborough

Mr Morris, lives in Bozeat in the south of the constituency, having previously lived in Wellingborough, and works as an insurance underwriter.

The 55-year-old has been a member of the Green Party for five years and has stood as the party’s candidate for North Northamptonshire Council in Irchester and Rushden South.

He has also served on Bozeat Parish Council for three years.

Mr Morris said: “What Wellingborough needs is a representative who knows and cares about local issues, rather than someone concerned with furthering their personal agenda in the national political arena.

“Local matters will always come first for me.”

He has two children, aged 21 and 17, and is a season ticket holder at Northampton Saints.

Andre Pyne-Bailey – Independent

Image source, Andre Payne-Bailey
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Andre Pyne-Bailey is standing as in independent in the Wellingborough by-election

Mr Pyne-Bailey was born and grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

He studied electrical engineering, working in his father’s electrical engineering firm and later went to the US to study computer science.

The candidate said he has worked for various companies in IT and also volunteered at the South London Family Centre in Lambeth.

He said: “I have the skills to further the interests of the community, ideas to accomplish growth in the towns and villages as well as the desire to promote the wellbeing of the residents.”

Marion Turner-Hawes – Independent

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Marion Turner-Hawes will stand as an independent candidate in the Wellingborough by-election

Ms Turner-Hawes was brought up in Kettering and now lives in Wellingborough with her wife Karon.

She serves as an independent Wellingborough Town councillor and works as a community consultant supporting organisations in the area.

“Our MP should be our champion, our advocate, mediator, listen to our dreams and aspirations, taking them forward to Parliament and advocating for them on the national stage.”

She has been a central campaigner to stop an avenue of lime trees being cut down in the constituency.

Ms Turner-Hawes has stood for the Green Party in the seat in 2015 and 2019 general elections, coming last in both contests. She left the Green Party in 2020.

Kevin Watts – Independent

Image source, Kevin Watts
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Kevin Watts is standing and independent in Wellingborough

Mr Watts was born in Park Hospital (now Isebrook Hospital) in Wellingborough.

He served as an officer in Northamptonshire Police and has been councillor for Irchester Parish Council for over 10 years and is currently its vice-chairman.

The Unite trade union member said he “believes unions give working people a voice collectively”.

Mr Watts said he wanted speak on behalf of the people in the constituency.

“That is what we haven’t had in this constituency for years and years and years. We’ve not had the people’s voice being heard,” he said.

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