Meet the General Election candidates for Houghton and Sunderland South

Top l-r Stewart Hay, Bridget Phillipson and Alan Robinson. Bottom l-r: Jim Murray and Richard Elvin
Top l-r Stewart Hay, Bridget Phillipson and Alan Robinson. Bottom l-r: Jim Murray and Richard Elvin
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THE candidates hoping to become MP for Houghton and Sunderland South explain why you should vote for them:

Richard lives in Hetton and still runs his own travel business he set up after 10 years of teaching. He believes decades of loyalty to Labour MPs in the North East have resulted in the HIGHEST unemployment – over 10%, the LOWEST infrastructure investment – just £223 per resident versus London’s £5,426 and the LARGEST proportional rise of immigrants compared to the rest of the UK. If elected, Richard will fight to end this inequality and work to get rid of the crippling cost of Labour’s part privatisation of the NHS (£301bn) in payments to private companies on buildings worth just £54bn).

He believes only UKIP can beat Labour in his constituency.

Stewart Hay – Conservative

Stewart who is a law graduate from Northumbria University and former pupil of Monkseaton Grammar School, played rugby union for various clubs including Belford House in Sunderland is standing to be your Member of Parliament. He is a 58 year old local family man, with a son at university. He is a retired Northumbria Police Detective Inspector with an exemplary service record, who is currently working as a consultant solicitor in the county, who strongly believes his experience within the public and private sector equips him to represent the constituency in government.

Jim Murray – Lib Dem

James is a solicitor and senior partner of a major law firm, and has previously served as a LibDem councillor. Before practising law he has worked on construction sites, was a social worker and a teacher, and ran a bar, giving him wide life experience.

He is standing on a platform of tackling social injustice and fairer taxation, extending tax cuts for average earners and investing £8 billion a year more into the NHS.

Jim says: “I will speak up for voters who want a fairer, safer, and greener country. I understand the benefits being in the EU has brought Wearside, and will work to deliver continued economic growth, jobs, apprenticeships, and prosperity, along with justice, fairness and quality of life.”

Bridget Phillipson – Labour

Since 2010, it has been a privilege to serve the people of Houghton and Sunderland South. I’m proud to have been born and raised locally and I’m proud of our area.

We can’t afford another five years of the Tories. Labour has a better plan for a better future - fair pay, a properly funded NHS and extra support for families. A future Labour government will raise the Minimum Wage to at least £8 an hour. We will introduce fair pay rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.

We will balance the books and cut the deficit while securing the future of the NHS. We will bring in tens of thousands more nurses, thousands of extra GPs and guarantee you an appointment with your family doctor within 48 hours.

Alan Robinson – Green Party

I am married with two children. I moved to Sunderland in 1997. I am now employed as a teacher working at a large academy in Birtley.

I stand against austerity for investment in decent jobs; against fracking and for sustainable forms of power.  I would work to represent all living in Houghton and Sunderland South, not just the privileged few. I recognise the pressure on NHS facilities, social services, housing departments and schools due to poor policy and lack of investment. I will work tirelessly to improve the lives of all if elected.