Former MP to fight seat

Harold Elletson
Harold Elletson
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A former Blackpool MP is hoping to revive his political career after announcing he is to contest the Fleetwood and Lancaster seat at the General Election.

Harold Elletson, who represented the former seat of Blackpool North and Fleetwood for the Conservatives between 1992 and 1997, is set to stand for the newly formed Northern Party.

Former Fylde Councillor Elizabeth Clarkson

Former Fylde Councillor Elizabeth Clarkson

The party, which wants more powers devolved to the north of England, says it is fielding candidates in five Lancashire constituencies including three on the Fylde coast.

Former Fylde councillor Elizabeth Clarkson will contest the Fylde seat, and James Walsh, an ecologist and a member of campaign group Frack Free Lancashire, will stand in Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Michael Dawson, who is the nephew of another former Fylde coast MP Hilton Dawson, who represented Lancaster and Wyre for Labour from 1997 to 2005, will stand in Morecambe and Lunesdale, and Sean Hargreaves will contest Rossendale and Darwin.

The party also has another Fylde link - its chairman is Ron Bell, a former Blackpool councillor who was the Tory candidate in Blackpool South at the 2010 General Election.

He said: “The Northern Party is going to upset the establishment’s apple cart. We’re a new party for northern people and we want real change to a system that is no longer fit for purpose.

“We want devo-max for the north.”

Mr Elletson, of Parrox Hall, Preesall, established the Campaign for the North last year to fight for devolution for the north of England.

Its blueprint included the creation of a merged police force, a Bank of the North, and a 10-year transport plan for the region.

Mr Elletson said: “Politics in Britain is changing and, here in the north, people want new solutions.

“Our call for bringing power and wealth back to the north is striking a real chord.

“We’re a new party, which will stand up for the north of England.”

Party leader Mr Dawson said: “We’ve been planning this for months. Many of us are from Lancashire so we are focusing on these five seats.

“This is a northern rebellion against a system that has failed the north. People are joining us from across the political spectrum.”