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Copeland by-election: Meet the candidates

Photo: PA

The major political parties have now all announced their candidates for the upcoming Copeland by-election.

The seat has been vacated by Jamie Reed MP, who has resigned in favour of a job at Sellafield.

Polls will open on February 23rd.

Find out more about each candidate, and their parties, below:

Gillian Troughton, Labour Party Credit: ITV Border

A former hospital doctor has been appointed as Labour's candidate in the upcoming Copeland by-election.

Gillian Troughton, who was once a driver for St John's ambulance service, faces a tough battle for the West Cumbrian seat.

Troughton believes Labour winning Copeland would prevent the Conservatives from taking away public health services from the constituency:

It is an honour to have been selected as the Labour candidate for this crucial by-election in my home seat.

This election is a choice between allowing the Tories to strip NHS services away from Copeland, and sending them a message that it's unacceptable.

– GILLIAN TROUGHTON, LABOUR CANDIDATE

According to her professional page online, Troughton worked as a junior doctor at Frimley Park and Kent & Canterbury hospitals, before becoming a school governor at Moresby Primary School in Whitehaven.

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has expressed his support for the party's choice:

Gillian is a local councillor with a strong track record of getting things done for her community. She has campaigned tirelessly to maintain local hospital services.

– JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR LEADER
Fiona Mills, UKIP Credit: ITV Border

A local NHS worker has been announced as UKIP's candidate for the Copeland by-election.

Fiona Mills, who was UKIP's candidate in Carlisle during the General Election, says she is "honoured and delighted" about the selection:

As UKIP Cumbria Chairman I travel all over the county and it is my feeling that people want a Member of Parliament who will truly represent them. I will do precisely that.

– FIONA MILLS, UKIP COPELAND BY-ELECTION CANDIDATE

UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall has expressed his support for the new candidate:

I cannot imagine anybody better to represent the people of Copeland, and I believe that in a constituency that firmly backed Brexit, in her they will find somebody on their wavelength and prepared to put in the extra yard for their interests.

– PAUL NUTTALL, UKIP LEADER
Trudy Harrison, Conservative Party Credit: ITV Border

The Conservative Party has announced its candidate for the Copeland by-election.

Trudy Harrison, 40, has spent time working for Copeland Borough Council and at Sellafield, and works as project manager mainly in the construction and energy industries.

She lives in Bootle with her husband and four teenage daughters:

This important by-election is an opportunity for the people of Copeland to send a message that the referendum result must be respected.

Copeland has had Labour MPs and Labour Councils for years. They’ve ignored us and failed to deliver the jobs, infrastructure and services we need, and now they want to ignore how we voted in the referendum.

I look forward to meeting as many local residents as possible in the coming weeks and setting out how voting Conservative this time will support our local nuclear industry, and deliver the investment Copeland deserves.

– TRUDY HARRISON, CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE
Rebecca Hanson, Liberal Democrats Credit: ITV Border

The Liberal Democrats last night selected Rebecca Hanson as their candidate for the Copeland by-election.

Ms Hanson is a Liberal Democrat Councillor in West Cumbria where she worked as a teacher, lecturer and education advisor.

She grew up in Newcastle, is married to a nuclear engineer and has five children:

This by-election is a chance for people to send a strong message against a hard Brexit that damages local jobs by pulling Britain out of the Single Market.

It's also an opportunity to reject this Conservative government's underfunding of our NHS and say no to plans to move vital services like maternity and A&E from West Cumberland Hospital to Carlisle.

I am passionate about standing up for West Cumbria, and recognise the vital role that the nuclear industry plays in our local economy.

I'm proud to be have been selected as the candidate for the Liberal Democrats, the only party fighting to protect the economy by staying in the Single Market and calling for a long-term solution to the crisis facing the NHS.

– Rebecca Hanson, Liberal Democrats candidate
Jack Lenox, Green Party Credit: ITV Border

The Green Party has announced its candidate for the Copeland constituency by-election.

Jack Lenox, an anti-nuclear power campaigner, has lived in Copeland for four years and works as a software engineer:

Copeland comprises some of the most deprived parts of the UK, it suffered severe flooding during the storms of last winter, and its constituents are forced to deal with continuous price hikes and cutbacks to public transport services. On top of all this, an ill-conceived new nuclear power plant is due to be built at Sellafield, the site of the UK's worst ever nuclear disaster.

The Green Party is the only party with truly progressive solutions to the issues Copeland faces. It’s a privilege and an honour to represent the Greens as a beacon of hope during this turbulent period in British politics.

– Jack Lenox, Green Party Candidate

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, said:

Jack is giving people in Copeland to vote for a candidate who opposes nuclear power, believes in Britain having a close relationship with Europe and fights for a truly public NHS. No other party is able to offer voters this clarity on the big issues facing the area. In a time of divisive politics and high levels of distrust, Jack will make an excellent Green Party candidate and we're proud to have him.

– Jonathan Bartley

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