Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Former shop worker is Labour Party's Carlisle election candidate

Labour has chosen former shop worker Lee Sherriff as its candidate for Carlisle at the next General Election.

Lee Sherriff photo
Lee Sherriff

The divorced mother of three was one of four contenders on an all-women shortlist.

She won easily, polling more first preferences than all her rivals put together at the selection meeting at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, yesterday.

Miss Sherriff, 39, said afterwards: “It’s just starting to sink in.

“My campaign starts straight away. I am going to be out in Carlisle making sure everybody knows who I am.

“Between now and the next election I will be listening to find out what people want for Carlisle and what they want me to do if I’m elected.

“It’s not about me. It’s about working with the people and not just for them.”

Miss Sherriff’s political rise has been meteoric. She joined the Labour Party only in 2010 and was elected as a city councillor for Harraby this May.

Despite her inexperience, she won the backing of former MP Eric Martlew and city council leader Joe Hendry as their first-choice for Parliamentary candidate.

She said: “It was a humbling experience to find out there were so many people supporting me.

“I never had any intention of standing for Parliament anywhere else. This is about being the MP for Carlisle.”

Labour is still smarting from its defeat in 2010 when John Stevenson became the city’s first Conservative MP since 1965. He beat Labour’s Michael Boaden by 853 votes. Boundary changes – which are by no means certain to be in force in time for the next election – could make it more difficult for Labour to win back the seat.

Miss Sherriff said: “It’s going to take a lot of hard work but I am prepared to put that hard work in.

“I plan to be a lot more visible than John Stevenson has been. It is difficult to put your finger on anything he has done for Carlisle.”

One of her aims is to get young voters involved in her campaign.

She said: “I’ve met quite a few young people in the party. I want to speak to youth groups and get the message across that politics is fun, enjoyable and relevant to young people.”

Miss Sherriff was born in Manchester but has lived in Carlisle since she was 10.

She was educated at Morton School and Carlisle College.

She is a member of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw and was made redundant from her job at the Jaeger shop in Green Market when it closed in June. She lives off London Road with her children Annia, Dominic and Maia.

The other contenders for the Parliamentary nomination were Allerdale councillor Barbara Cannon, Copeland’s Gillian Troughton and Emma Lewell-Buck from South Tyneside.

All 200 members of Carlisle Labour Party were eligible to take part in the selection.

Have your say

I know Michael Boaden to be a good man. For a few years we worked together at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. I also know he has worked tirelessly for the Labour Party, and for the people of Carlisle over many years. I am very disturbed that he has been discriminated against because he happens to be a man. The sex of the candidate is not an issue, and should not be an issue, it should be who has worked hardest to earn the candidacy. What sort of message does this give out to Labour Party activists who can be casually tossed aside, after decades of work purely because of their gender. Please bring back Michael as our candidate.

Posted by Dr John Campbell on 27 February 2014 at 18:21

Will be academic anyway. My prediction is Labour will still not be forgiven for the state of the economy at the next election. Tories to be given the benefit of the doubt (just) and to win another term. John Stevenson Is doing a decent job in representing Carlisle and its constituents. This will help him gain both goodwill and enough familiarity to see him through.

Posted by Anon on 1 October 2012 at 23:28

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