Worthing council leader bids to become new MP
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Having become the first Worthing Labour councillor for more than 40 years in 2017, Beccy Cooper is looking to ‘repeat that success at national level’, by replacing Conservative Sir Peter Bottomley as Worthing West MP.
Last year’s local elections saw Dr Cooper become council leader and now the Labour group is hoping to gain its first MP.
"There’s still a heck of a lot of hard work ahead,” Dr Cooper said. “Proving myself in the selection process and then taking our policies out to the community is in some ways a daunting prospect but one I’m very much looking forward to.
"We have some great local policies coming forward which marry with the national outlook and I feel very strongly that as at recent local elections,
people are ready for change.
"There has been apathy from politicians across the country for far too long, and we’ll be listening hard to voters to highlight the issues that mean most to them.“Our town has a great deal to offer and there is a lot of learning from Worthing that could benefit the wider national picture. The experience I’ve gained in the last two general elections will stand me in good stead and I’m ready to start believing in third time lucky.”
A large swing will be needed if Dr Cooper is to prove successful. While current predictions suggesting only 300 votes separate the two main parties, Sir Peter Bottomley was re-elected in the December, 2019, general election, with 30,475 votes. Dr Cooper was second with 15,652.
In the spring, Sir Peter was reselected as the Conservative candidate for Worthing West.
Speaking in March, Sir Peter said priorities would include protecting the environment and green spaces, safe and secure housing for all and fighting for vulnerable and underrepresented communities.
“My prime focus continues to be on promoting the well-being, health and happiness of my constituents,” he added. “May we continue to work hard, together, on behalf of and in support of our communities.”
As the MP with the longest continuous service, Sir Peter is Father of the House. He was first elected in Woolwich West in 1975, then Eltham in 1983, and then Worthing West in 1997.