Here are the names already in the hat to fight the Blackpool South by-election

Voters will make their choice at the ballot box on Thursday May 2
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Five candidates have been announced so far to battle for the Blackpool South seat in a by-election called after the resignation of former Conservative MP Scott Benton.

Residents living in the constituency will go to the ballot box on May 2. A recall petition to oust Mr Benton ran for only two weeks before he stepped down.

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Candidates have been vying to proclaim their local credentials after there was dismay at the actions of Mr Benton, who was elected at the 2019 General Election, snatching the seat from longstanding Labour MP Gordon Marsden.

Chris Webb, who is Labour's candidate for the Blackpool South seatChris Webb, who is Labour's candidate for the Blackpool South seat
Chris Webb, who is Labour's candidate for the Blackpool South seat

Labour have had their candidate Chris Webb poised to enter the fray for 12 months after he was selected by the party in March last year.

Blackpool born and bred, he sets out his top priorities as fighting for residents struggling in the cost of living crisis, regenerating the town to deliver new well-paid jobs and reducing anti-social behaviour with a return to neighbourhood policing.

The father-of-one said: “I live in Blackpool with my wife and newborn son. I am aware of the real challenges facing residents across Blackpool every single day.

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“I’ve spoken to thousands of residents and I’m hearing the same thing. People are hard up, and they are fed up; they just want a hard-working MP who'll deliver for our town. The only way we get that is by winning here in Blackpool and winning for Labour on May 2.

“I've spent my career standing up for working people and I'm determined to deliver for the people of Blackpool.”

David JonesDavid Jones
David Jones

Among those he will be up against is Conservative David Jones, chairman of the Fylde Conservatives, who will be hoping to restore his party's reputation among voters.

He said: “I love Blackpool and I know its good parts and it's bad equally. I’ve always lived locally so I’m part of the community and part of the political structure here, and I have a genuine understanding of the local needs.

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"We have some of the most deprived wards in the country. If elected as the Conservative MP here I promise I would work non-stop at turning the corner and continuing to deliver millions of investment to improve the lives of local people in our town.

"If elected I would build on my already vast number of local contacts to drive awareness and seek solutions to our challenges, to drive real change and legislation nationally when needed. "

Reform Party candidate Mark Butcher (right) with MP Lee AndersonReform Party candidate Mark Butcher (right) with MP Lee Anderson
Reform Party candidate Mark Butcher (right) with MP Lee Anderson

The Reform Party rolled into town on Thursday (March 28) in their own battle bus to unveil their candidate Mark Butcher, who is also local to Blackpool and well-known for his work with homeless people in the town.

He runs the Amazing Grace soup kitchen in a former Baptist Church on Bolton Street, which has become a community hub for vulnerable people needing support.

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Mark, was accompanied at the launch of his campaign by MP Lee Anderson, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, who defected to the Reform Party earlier in March.

Mark told a crowd of supporters who had gathered in St John's Square to greet him the Labour Party, which controls Blackpool Council, had been spending money on 'vanity projects' in the town centre.

He said: "I have been running around trying to help people for 12 years, What does this say about the Labour party in Blackpool? It's absolute neglect and it's vanity projects."

Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew CreganLiberal Democrat candidate Andrew Cregan
Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Cregan

The Lib Dems have also announced a local candidate in Andrew Cregan who moved to Blackpool with his family when they opened a bed and breakfast. He is a former pupil of Revoe School, Collegiate School (now Aspire Academy) and Blackpool Sixth Form College.

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He said: "I'm tired of seeing my family and community let down. I've come home to stand for a fair deal - to make Blackpool a great place to live, move to and invest in."

Green Party candidate Ben ThomasGreen Party candidate Ben Thomas
Green Party candidate Ben Thomas

Ben Thomas, secretary of the Blackpool and Fylde Green Party, will fight the seat for The Greens.

He said: "We need an economy that works for all, proper investment in the NHS, access to decent, affordable housing, effective action against climate change that threatens our coastline higher sea levels, and the ending of the national sewage scandal caused by private water companies."

Mr Benton was suspended from the House of Commons in April for 35 days after he was found to have breached Commons rules. It came after he was filmed by The Times offering to lobby ministers and table parliamentary questions on behalf of journalists posing as gambling investors.

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