Candidates for Blyth and Ashington and Cramlington and Killingworth seats respond to general election date announcement

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Hopeful parliamentary candidates in south east Northumberland are preparing to launch their campaigns after a date was announced for a general election.

After a day of speculation that an announcement was imminent, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke in the rain outside 10 Downing Street to announce that an election would be called for July 4.

The area’s electoral map has been redrawn, with candidates set to contest new seats of Blyth and Ashington, Cramlington and Killingworth, and North Northumberland.

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Labour candidate Emma Foody said: “I am proud to launch my campaign to be the Labour and Co-operative MP for the new constituency of Cramlington and Killingworth.

Rishi Sunak announced the date for the general election in the rain outside 10 Downing Street. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)Rishi Sunak announced the date for the general election in the rain outside 10 Downing Street. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak announced the date for the general election in the rain outside 10 Downing Street. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

“This is where I I grew up, and where I live and volunteer now. I know that our community deserves better than the past 14 years of Tory decline.

“Over the next few weeks, I will set out my plans to deliver a fresh start for Cramlington and Killingworth. Together we can deliver the change our country and communities desperately need.”

Ms Foody will run against the current Conservative Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy, who won the constituency in 2019 by just over 700 votes from Labour.

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His wife, Maureen Levy, will contest the new Blyth and Ashington seat against current Wansbeck MP, Labour’s Ian Lavery.

Mrs Levy said: The election has been called and I am ready to go as the Conservative candidate for Blyth and Ashington.

“Blyth Valley has seen massive investment since 2019 of hundreds of millions and I am determined to continue this regeneration progress throughout the Blyth and Ashington area and fight for a better deal for people here.

“People in Blyth and Ashington want safer streets, better jobs, and investment in education and transport. Only Conservatives have a track record of delivering that locally.”

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Newcastle councillor Thom Campion, the Lib Dem candidate for Cramlington and Killingworth, said his party was “ready” for July 4.

He added: “Residents across the North East have told us time and time again that they want rid of this Tory government that has so obviously outstayed its welcome.

“Whether it is cleaning our rivers and waterways or creating a more caring society, Liberal Democrats are demanding a fair deal for residents in the North East and we are ready to get stuck in fighting for the best for our region and our country.”

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General Election: Reaction from candidates in North Northumberland

Northumberland Conservatives chair Richard Wearmouth talked up his party’s recent record in the county.

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He said: “Northumberland has seen record investment from this government, in stark contrast to the Blair years where the people of the North East were ignored and their votes taken for granted by Labour.

“The Northumberland Line, Borderlands Growth Deal, the Devolution Deal, Town Deals, Future High Street Fund, Heritage Action Zones. It has all happened under the Conservatives and we look forward to taking our case to the residents of our amazing county.”

Scott Dickinson, the leader of Northumberland Labour, said: “Northumberland and the North East has been badly let down by the Conservatives, both locally at the council and nationally.

“Local people are desperate for change. They want hope and opportunity and it is only Labour that can deliver that now.”

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