Members of the North Shropshire Green Party have chosen Duncan Kerr to stand in the North Shropshire by-election.
Mr Kerr is the Shropshire Councillor for Oswestry South, Chair of the Town Council’s Finance Committee and former Mayor.
Speaking after selection, Duncan said: “I am extremely grateful for the backing from the fantastic members of the local party and from the community as well. The Green Party does politics differently. We show that we don’t have to rely on the old, failed parties and our approach has been winning respect and support.
“At the last Shropshire Council elections just six months ago, it was only the Green Party that won seats in North Shropshire; the Liberal Democrats lost the only seat they had and joined Labour in not having a single Shropshire Councillor in the North. Famously the Green Party also overturned a Conservative majority to win 12 of the 18 seats on Oswestry Town Council.
“We are not financed from big business and corporate donors, instead we work hard on the ground, holding surgeries, resolving constituents’ problems and distributing newsletters. We’ve launched a crowdfunder to pay for this campaign and have already seen a surge in membership.
“The COP negotiations has shown us how much we all need greener policies for a more sustainable and healthier world. There has never been a better time to vote for the only party with genuine green policies and a long history of campaigning for a zero carbon society.
“In the last decade North Shropshire has been sadly neglected. We have seen the loss of essential health services, government resources going elsewhere and Shropshire Council pouring our money into Shrewsbury. We desperately need an MP who can hit the ground running and be a powerful and persuasive advocate for our market towns and rural communities. To be effective they will need a strong track record of lobbying and campaigning.
“Having worked for forty years as a Social Worker, Environmental Health Officer and Local Authority Chief Executive, and with three Master’s Degrees, I have the passion, knowledge and experience to work hardest for the people of North Shropshire and seize the economic opportunities that the transition to a zero carbon economy can deliver for all our communities.
“I am well aware that none of the current candidates are responsible for the loss of public confidence in our MPs that has led to this by-election. However by choosing to stand they have taken on the task of regaining this trust and the public will judge how genuine they are. It’s not enough to meekly state that you will abide by the rules. Owen Paterson repeatedly said that in previous campaigns. Nor is it enough to promise simply to not moonlight with a second job. So I am giving a firm promise that if elected I will draw only the UK average wage in remuneration and ask that the rest goes to local charities just as I did with my Mayoral allowance. I won’t be the first MP to do this, and I hope I won’t be the last. Both myself, and more importantly the public, look forward to hearing what the other candidates propose to do.
“Over the next few weeks I will be walking the streets and delivering leaflets with our wonderful local team of green volunteers. If you see any of us please come over and have a word, this is your chance to make a difference.”
Duncan was elected by North Shropshire Green Party members at a hustings meeting held on Monday evening in Oswestry.
Conservatives have selected Birmingham lawyer Neil Shastri-Hurst, Labour Ben Wood from Oswestry and Reform UK have announced local Kirsty Walmsley as their candidate. Russell Dean, the leader of the Party Party which he set up in 2013, will also stand.
The Liberal Democrats are set to announce their candidate on Tuesday.