Eastbourne Labour announces parliamentary candidate

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Father of two, Paul Richards, who lives in the Old Town of Eastbourne, has been chosen as the Labour & Co-operative candidate in the forthcoming General Election.

Mr Richards, 56, is well-known as a local campaigner and community leader. He was recently the Labour & Co-operative candidate for police and crime commissioner (PCC) across Sussex, where he came second and wiped out the Conservative majority.

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Mr Richards is standing with support of the Co-operative Party, and he was previously chair of the East Sussex Co-operative Party. His pledges include more police on Eastbourne's high streets and estates, scrapping business rates for struggling local firms, action on sewage in our seas, more teachers in Eastbourne paid for by scrapping tax breaks on fee-paying schools, a cut to NHS waiting times, more support for mental health services, and votes for every 16- and 17- year-old.

Paul Richards is standing to be Eastbourne's first-ever Labour MP.Paul Richards is standing to be Eastbourne's first-ever Labour MP.
Paul Richards is standing to be Eastbourne's first-ever Labour MP.

Mr Richards says: "I love Eastbourne but we all know it could be so much better. We need safe streets, thriving businesses, clean seas, affordable homes, and world-class schools and hospitals. We need support for our pensioners, with dignity for every vulnerable person. The country is crying out for change. Today's modern Labour Party is the change the country needs right now. On 4 July, we can start to turn the page."

Mr Richards works as a speechwriter for senior public figures, as a political pundit on radio and television, and as an author of four books. He served as a special adviser to the previous Labour Government in three departments including the Department for Health, where he was instrumental in introducing the smoking ban.

He was a policy adviser to the shadow secretary of state for environmental protection in 1991-2, and worked for Labour HQ during the 1992 election campaign. He is a former Chair of the Fabian Society, a prominent think-tank devising policies to improve Britain, and serves on the executive committee. His experience at the highest levels of politics and government is what he would bring to being the first-ever Labour MP for Eastbourne.

The General Election takes place on Thursday, July 4.