Labour candidate in Stoke by-election described Brexit as a 'pile of sh*t'
Labour has selected a local councillor who described Brexit as a “massive pile of sh*t” as its candidate for the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.
Gareth Snell was selected to stand in the seat, where Labour is facing a battle to hold off a challenge from Ukip leader Paul Nuttall.
Despite the constituency being in a Brexit-supporting area, tweets from Mr Snell show his scepticism about leaving the EU, including one poem which read:
Mr Snell has since said that he will not try to block the Article 50, but reiterated his criticism of Theresa May’s handling of the Brexit process.
The Tories have chosen another local councillor, 25-year-old Jack Brereton, to run in the same seat.
And in Copeland, where the Conservatives are narrow favourites to win the seat from Labour, Trudy Harrison has been selected as the candidate.
Ms Harrison said she would be highlighting how a Tory vote would “support… the local nuclear industry”, and also drew a contrast to Labour’s stance on the EU referendum.
“Copeland has had Labour MPs and Labour councils for years,” she said.
“They’ve ignored us and failed to deliver the jobs, infrastructure and services we need, and now they want to ignore how we voted in the referendum.”
Gill Troughton has already been announced as Labour’s candidate for Copeland.
The by-elections, which will both take place on 23 February, were triggered by the resignations of Labour MPs Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed.
The Opposition are facing an uphill battle to keep both seats, with Ukip pouring resources into Stoke and the Tories only finishing narrowly behind Labour in 2015 in Copeland.
Mr Snell immediately went on the attack against Mr Nuttall for previous comments he made about private involvement in the NHS.
“Labour has always stood up for local people here in Stoke-on-Trent, whether it’s building our first new hospital in 100 years or defending our vital children’s centres,” he said.
“The Tories haven’t done anything for our city, and now they’re trying to sell off £1.2bn of cancer and end of life care in North Staffordshire. And Ukip’s plans for our NHS are clear – sell it all off to the highest bidder.
“Only Labour will do what is needed to get a fair deal for the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central.”
Mr Brereton highlighted the EU referendum result in his statement after being selected for a constituency which is believed to have overwhelmingly voted for Brexit.
“It is an opportunity for the people of Stoke to send a message that the referendum result must be respected, and to back the Prime Minister’s clear plan to make a success of Brexit,” he said.
“A vote for Labour will let them think they can ignore and forget what you voted for in the EU referendum.”