By Jonathan Isaby
The Conservatives in Oldham East and Saddleworth have selected Kashif Ali to contest the by-election caused by the judicial ruling of the general election in the constituency to have been void.
Kashif is a local man born and bred, a barrister and former Deputy Chairman of the Manchester Conservative Federation. He also sits on the Board of a national charity providing housing and support services for adults with mental health problems and learning difficulties.
He fought the seat at the general election, when he increased the Conservative vote by 8.7% to put the party into a strong third place. The full result in May was:
Woolas (Lab) - 14,186 (31.9%; -10.7)
Watkins (LIb Dem) - 14,083 (31.6%; -0.5)
Ali (Con) - 11,773 (26.4%; +8.7)
Stott (BNP) - 2,546 (5.7%)
Bentley (UKIP) - 1,720 (3.9%; +1.8)
Nazir (Christian) - 212 (0.5%)
He said on his reselection:
“It is a great honour and extremely exciting to be the Conservative candidate for Oldham East and Saddleworth. It’s an honour because I was born and brought up here, I live in the constituency and feel strongly about doing everything I can to help improve the area for local residents.
“For the last three years I have been fighting for local people. I have been fighting to secure investment in local NHS services, to deliver a zero percent increase in Council tax, to deliver a cinema complex, to restore Oldham market to its former glory days, to bring common sense to the Council’s parking charges and enforcement regime, to cut Councillors allowances and to deal with anti-social behaviour which is so widespread in many communities.
“As we go into this by-election, being an Oldhamer born and bred, I promise if elected to be a committed, listening and accessible local MP who will make local economic regeneration and fighting crime his two top priorities.”