Labour selects Bognor Regis and Littlehampton general election candidate

Alan Butcher, Labour candidate for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (photo submitted).
Alan Butcher, Labour candidate for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton (photo submitted).

Labour has selected its candidate to contest Bognor Regis and Littlehampton at next month’s general election.

Alan Butcher, a former district and Littlehampton town councillor, also stood as a parliamentary candidate in 2015 finishing third behind Conservative Nick Gibb and UKIP’s Graham Jones.

He has been involved in campaigns protecting amenities such as the post office and local theatre, and has recently led Labour’s local health plan, which aimed to highlight the failures in planning future healthcare provision for

Speaking after being notified of his selection, Mr Butcher said: “Britain needs a government for the many, not the few – one that’s ready to invest in our economy and public services.

“The Conservatives have demonstrated that they, prefer to give the richest and largest corporations tax handouts worth tens of billions.

“The NHS and social care have been pushed into a state of emergency. Housebuilding has fallen to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s.

“Schools across the country face losing hundreds of thousands of pounds in real-terms cuts to funding, and class sizes are rising – while young people hoping to go to university face ever-increasing debts.

“Cuts in benefits have caused further hardship to those who really need help.

“Pensioners are concerned that the Conservatives will not guarantee the ‘triple lock’ on pensions – indeed, they have already cut pensions by 20 per cent for those retiring after 2016.

“Increasing numbers of families find it necessary to seek help from food banks because of the cuts in benefits, arbitrary sanctions or zero-hours contracts.

“Homelessness has doubled since 2010 and Arun has some of the worst overcrowding in the county. Security and safety at home are threatened by continuing cuts to front line services in the police and fire services.”

He added: “It’s also not a second referendum on leaving the European Union, it is about taking the rare opportunity which hasn’t been available for years: the chance to vote for a party looks and sounds different than the party in power.”

His candidacy has been endorsed by his Green Party opponent in the 2015 election Simon McDougall, a former Liberal Democrat opposition leader at Arun District Council who left the party following his party’s decision to join the Conservative coalition.

He said: “It is time for those who oppose the Conservatives and their failed policies to turn to the Labour party, which now offers a very distinctive and positive agenda for change to the benefit of us all and future generations.

“By selecting Alan, Labour has a committed local campaigner who has always listened to constituents’ views and sought to ensure that due account of them is taken.”