Stoke-on-Trent by-election: Labour and UKIP leaders begin campaign-NewsCO

January 29, 2017

Paul Nuttall, Gareth Snell and Jeremy CorbynImage copyright

Image caption

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, far left, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn kick off their by-election campaigns in Stoke

UKIP and Labour leaders have hit the campaign trail in Stoke-on-Trent ahead of next month’s by-election.

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, who is standing, said his party was ready to pull off a “shock” win.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was door knocking with candidate Gareth Snell, said he was “very happy” with Labour’s position.

The Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election was called after Tristram Hunt resigned as an MP earlier this month.

UKIP ‘bookies favourite’

Mr Nuttall said the party would provide a “real Brexit” for the UK, adding that electing another Labour MP would be “lobby fodder”.

Media captionTristram Hunt MP: “[Jeremy Corbyn] was a bit thrown – nobody wants this on Friday 13th”

In 2015 Mr Hunt, who resigned on 13 January to become director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, held a 5,000-vote majority over UKIP, who came second in the Staffordshire constituency.

Mr Nutall said: “The bookies have got us down as the slight favourites in this.

“I think the people of Stoke have gradually clocked on that the Labour party doesn’t necessarily have their best interests at heart.”

Image copyright

Image caption

MEP and UKIP leader Paul Nuttall with supporter Richard Gibbins, dressed as Winston Churchill

Mr Corbyn canvassed with Mr Snell, former leader of Newcastle Borough Council, and said: “The campaign is going fine, thank you very much, absolutely fine.”

Although a traditional Labour safe seat, Stoke-on-Trent voted 65% in favour of leaving the EU in last year’s referendum.

List of candidates: Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election

Liberal Democrats: Zulfiqar Ali

Conservative: Jack Brereton

Christian Peoples: Godfrey Davies

UKIP: Paul Nuttall

Labour: Gareth Snell

Mr Nuttall added: “If you want someone in the House of Commons to champion Brexit -real Brexit, controlling our borders, controlling our money, controlling our finances – you go out and you vote Ukip in this election.”

Voters will go to the polls on 23 February.

On the same day voting will take place in Copeland in Cumbria, to replace Labour MP Jamie Reed.

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