A new political party is contesting the up-coming Chesham and Amersham by-election. It will be hoping for a ‘breakthrough’ in the political landscape. Moreover, this party has an agenda which stands in contrast to the main establishment parties. So, Keir Starmer may want to watch out.
Another Westminster by-election
The death of Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan on 5 April triggered the by-election. In 2019, it was a safe Tory seat and has been since 1974. Gillan won with a majority of over 15,000 and over 55% of the vote on a high turnout of 76.8%. The Lib Dems came second, with Labour third and the Green Party fourth. The by-election is taking place on 17 June.
Labour has decided to parachute a candidate in. It’s selected Natasa Pantelic to stand. She’s currently a councillor in Slough, in the neighbouring county of Berkshire. But what Pantelic might stand for politically is, according to shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, currently “confidential”:
‘It’s confidential’: Shadow minister refuses to say what Labour stands for
Jonathan Ashworth says discussions have taken place at shadow cabinet level but that they are ‘confidential’
— Pickles U Fat Get (@torysmasher) May 19, 2021
But another party has also declared its candidate. And its choice could put the cat among the pigeons for the establishment parties.
- Unite and empower our communities to take on the establishment & challenge the political status quo.
- Make local and national politics more representative.
- Fight for an equal, fair, and just society.
We are a new home for those determined to disrupt the failed status quo and build an alternative. It’s a society that uses its considerable wealth to provide dignity, security and justice for all.
We see hope not in Westminster. We see it in the ordinary people fighting for a better future: in workplaces, in communities and on the streets.
Breakthrough is a democratic party, led by the younger generations set to inherit a world in crisis. We will work with trade unions, anti-racist organisations and social movements to build a powerful force for change.
You can listen to more of what Mays has to say below:
📣 "The issues that young people face, the values that they hold are ignored in our political system"
— Breakthrough Party 🟠⬆️ (@BThroughParty) May 17, 2021
This vision is already starting to be realised. Because Breakthrough’s candidate in Chesham and Amersham fits its bill perfectly.
Mother-of-two and charity worker Carla Gregory is the party’s candidate. She has lived in both Chesham and Amersham; therefore she has local knowledge.
She said in a press release that:
Standing up for people who are marginalised in society is very important to me and the Breakthrough Party does just this, as well as not being afraid to say it how it really is and always tackling the toughest issues facing our society. There is no way in 2021 anyone should be homeless or hungry.
But Gregory is also aware that she’s up against established parties. And while this will make the by-election hard, she’s confident that running as a Breakthrough candidate is the right thing to do:
I’m running for MP of Chesham and Amersham because there is no one representing people who struggle to keep up with the cost of living in this constituency. This is my hometown and where I am raising my children so I want the best possible future for them and Chesham and Amersham. For far too long the gap between the rich and the poor has been widening here and I want to be the voice of the unheard residents.
Disrupting the status quo
Gregory’s intentions are bold yet important and positive. Meanwhile, the by-election would, on the face of it, seem a three horse race between the Tories, Labour, and the Lib Dems. But Breakthrough and Gregory believe that it’s possible to break this cycle. Mays said in a press release:
This is going to be an exciting grassroots campaign. We want to take our unapologetic, anti-establishment message to the people in Chesham and Amersham who want real change and something to hope for. In Carla, we have a fantastic candidate who truly cares about her community and has the passion and determination to make this such a better place to live for everyone.
In the Hartlepool by-election Labour looked on the ropes, while an independent candidate came in third, ahead of the Greens and Lib Dems. But Hartlepool also showed the challenges for small, new groups in taking on the establishment parties.
Thelma Walker, standing as an independent but under the banner of the Northern Independence Party, only got 250 votes. So Gregory and Breakthrough will have a fight on their hands. But this new, progressive, and young movement have the drive and vision to potentially cause a major upset. This in many people’s books can only be a good thing.
Featured image via the Breakthrough Party and the Telegraph – YouTube
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