Labour frontbencher Gloria de Piero's former office manager to stand against her for the Tories
The former office manager of Labour frontbencher Gloria de Piero has announced that he will stand against her at the next general election for the Conservative Party.
Lee Anderson, who is also a councillor in the Ashfield constituency, defected last year while working for the Shadow Justice Minister and quit his post days later.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr Anderson, a former miner who took part in a major strike in the area in the 1980s, said: “I am standing for Parliament.
“Seven years I was working 12 hour nights in a homeless hostel on living wage. I loved that job.
“Tonight I was selected by the Ashfield Conservative Party to be the Parliamentary Candidate at the next General Election. I am speechless but feeling very proud and deeply humble.”
The Tory hopeful told local paper the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad that he wanted to see “the foreign aid budget halved”, as well as more investment in education, the health service, and policing.
He also vowed to make fighting for former mineworkers' pensions "a high priority".
The Conservatives closed the gap to finish just 441 votes behind Labour in the 2017 snap election - up from nearly 9,000 in 2015.
He added: "The Conservatives in Ashfield [received] a large swing at the last election - I'm not expecting an election but I'm ready for one."
Explaining his decision to switch parties Mr Anderson said Labour had "changed for the worse" when he quit back in March 2018.
At the time, he wrote: "The Labour party is no longer the party I joined. Both locally and nationally, it has been taken over by the hard-left who are more interested in fighting internal ideological battles than standing up for the priorities of working men and women.
"I have joined the Conservatives as they are now the only party of aspiration who listen and act on the everyday concerns of working people."
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