Ex-Harrogate Tory councillor to stand as an Independent at General Election for Harrogate and Knaresborough

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A Harrogate councillor who quit the Tories and won more than 12,000 votes at the mayoral election sensationally won by Labour earlier this year is to stand in the General Election.

Paul Haslam said he had been decided to stand as an Independent for Harrogate and Knaresborough on July 4 after "touching support” from the public.

"Following my recent candidacy for Mayor, I have been deeply touched by the many people who have encouraged me to run for MP to represent our wonderful area,” said Mr Haslam.

"I am incredibly grateful for their support.

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Harrogate councillor Paul Haslam said he had been decided to stand as an Independent for Harrogate and Knaresborough at the General Election on July 4 after "touching support” from the public (Picture contributed)Harrogate councillor Paul Haslam said he had been decided to stand as an Independent for Harrogate and Knaresborough at the General Election on July 4 after "touching support” from the public (Picture contributed)
Harrogate councillor Paul Haslam said he had been decided to stand as an Independent for Harrogate and Knaresborough at the General Election on July 4 after "touching support” from the public (Picture contributed)

"With this encouragement, I have decided to run as an independent candidate for MP of Harrogate and Knaresborough in the upcoming general election."

Bilton and Nidd Gorge councillor Paul Haslam had been a leading Conservative councillor since being elected to Harrogate Borough Council in 2014 and the county council since 2017.

His decision to quit the party was part of the context of a shock win for the Labour Party’s David Skaith in May in the battle to be the first-ever mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

He continues to to sit as an independent on North Yorkshire Council as Champion for Climate Change.

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Mr Haslam said, if successful at the General Election, he would focus on solving issues in a spirit of collaboration.

"My campaign will focus on addressing local issues that require national attention and support.

"I believe in the power of an MP to engage and collaborate with all local stakeholders, including North Yorkshire Council, the new town council, the new Mayor, and organisations such as Yorkshire Water and the NHS, to solve local problems.

"I aim to foster a spirit of collaboration and innovation, moving beyond siloed approaches.

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"My key priorities will be community engagement, the cost of living, health and well-being, and the environment.”

Paul Haslam said his six priorities would be:

A strong voice for Harrogate and Knaresborough

An ambassador for the local economy

A focus for community cohesion

A catalyst for change in health care

A fighter tackling the cost of living

A steadfast advocate for climate action

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/PaulHaslam4MP

Also standing for Harrogate and Knaresborough are:

Andrew Jones, Conservative Party

Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrats

Conrad Whitcroft, Labour Party

John Swales, Reform UK

Shan Oakes, Green Party.