York General Election 2019 – Live

Chronicling the campaign in York Central and York Outer
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This is all the Lib Dem literature delivered to a single York Outer home

At this election, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to plant 60 million trees a year.

That might just about cover the number of trees they are using up to print their election literature.

Pictured above is all the campaign bumf from the Lib Dems sent to one home in York Outer since the campaign began.

There are 13 separate missives, from fully-fledged newspapers to the same letter from candidate Keith Aspden, sent separately to the three adults registered at that address in Huntington.

By contrast Labour and the Conservatives have each posted one leaflet through the letterbox.

The householder told YorkMix:

  • It’s relentless. Every evening I come home to another sight of Keith Aspden or Jo Swinson sitting on my doormat.

    Do they think I’ve suffered from some sort of short-term memory loss – that I can’t remember that they told me about ‘Building A Brighter Future’ yesterday, and the day before that?

    At least it’s keeping me fit – all those trips from the front door to the recycling bin out back.

And there’s still nearly a week to go…


Mixed messages for Press readers on the Lib Dems’ campaign

There are mixed messages about the Liberal Democrats in the York Press today.

A story headlined Fury over Lib Dem leaflets with ‘misleading’ polls was published on the newspaper’s website – while surrounded by an advert to ‘Build A Brighter Future – Vote Liberal Democrat’.

The Press report says some residents are angered by claims in Lib Dem election literature that “it is a simple fact that the Labour Party aren’t going to win in York Outer. It is going to be a close battle between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives”.

Considering the Lib Dems came a poor third in 2017, with Labour in second place to Conservative Julian Sturdy, this is “royally misleading” says one.

And yet this claim is repeated all over the front page of the, ahem, York Press today:

The paid-for wraparound in the print edition

All very confusing…

Corbyn not coming

Jeremy Corbyn is not now coming to address a rally in Exhibition Square.

York Central Labour candidate Rachael Maskell tells the crowd he can’t make it because the traffic is too bad.

But he will return “when he’s Prime Minister”.

A massive own goal by Labour in York today.

You can now read our full report here.

More from the York College speech

Speaking at York College Mr Corbyn said that “the war on terror has manifestly failed”.

He said: “For far too long, our country’s leaders have made the wrong calls on our security.

“Their mistakes in no way absolve terrorists of blame for their murderous actions – the blame lies with the terrorists, their funders and recruiters.

“But if we are to protect people, we must be honest about what threatens our security.

“The threat of terrorism cannot and should not be reduced to questions of foreign policy alone, but too often the actions of successive governments have fuelled, not reduced, that threat.”
Mr Corbyn added that he “warned against the invasion and occupation of Iraq” yet the UK is “still living with the consequences today”.

He continued: “Britain should not have joined that conflict which has, as a result, created a vast ungoverned space, that has contributed to misery in the region and made us less safe here in this country, and indeed many other parts of Europe.”

Jeremy Corbyn gives speech at York College

Jeremy Corbyn has been delivering a speech today at York College.

He warned people cannot be kept safe “on the cheap” as he said the government can make acts of terror less likely in the wake of the London Bridge attack.

The Labour leader paid tribute to the work of the emergency services who responded to the terrorist attack and said people have “a right to know from political leaders what steps they will take to ensure public safety”.

“I will always do whatever is necessary and effective to keep our people safe. First of all, the police who put themselves on the line to protect us will have the authority to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save lives.

“If police believe an attacker is wearing a suicide vest, then they are right to take the action that they do and did.

“We have to understand that no government can prevent every attack. No-one would believe any political leader who said they could. But the government can act to make such acts of terror less, rather than more, likely.”

He said community policing, the probation service, mental health, youth and social services have a “vital part” to play.

Crowds gather for Jeremy Corbyn visit

These are the scenes in St Helen’s Square this lunchtime for the visit of Jeremy Corbyn.

River safety a priority for Conservative candidate

Fabia Tate is making a series of videos as part of her campaign to take York Central for the Conservatives.

In her latest one, shared yesterday, she focuses on an important local issue. After a number of tragic deaths in both York’s rivers this year, she wants to see more action to improve safety.

She says:

  • If I’m elected as MP I will make this a top priority.

    And that means more of these lifebuoys along the river, fluorescent ladders that glow in the dark, and CCTV with thermal images.

Environment hustings takes place in York tomorrow

There’s a hustings focused on the environment tomorrow night.

It’s been organised by York Youth Strike 4 Climate, and will take place hours after their latest strike and demonstration in York city centre.

York Central Climate Hustings

Fri Nov 29 @ 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm
The Malthouse [Space Invaders]
9 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW
York, YO24 1AW GB
+ Google Map

They say:

  • The climate crisis is more important to voters than ever, which is why we are hosting a climate hustings after Friday’s strike.

    We have invited all the candidates standing in York Central and have received confirmation from Labour, the Greens, the Lib Dems, and the Brexit Party.

Election candidate breaks his arm

It’s always tough on the election trail, but most candidates emerge with nothing worse than a bruised ego.

Not so James Blanchard however. Spare a thought for the Lib Dem candidate for York Central – he’s broken his elbow in a cycling accident.

Perhaps if the Lib Dems get into power they’ll prioritise fixing the potholes that us cyclists have to negotiate every time we journey around York (although there’s no suggestion a pothole was responsible for James’s injury…)

An update on… the Lib Dems

We’re getting our live blog properly underway as we head into the last two weeks of the election. So here are a few updates on the week so far starting with… the Lib Dems.

Candidate for York Outer Keith Aspden met with former party leader, York born Vince Cable on Tuesday.

He joined them on one of First York’s buses:

Vince is obviously a big fan of York buses. This was our report on his visit in March:

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer rallies the Labour troops in York

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer was in town today.

The shadow Brexit secretary was at York Railway Institute with the city’s two Labour hopefuls, York Central candidate Rachael Maskell, and Anna Perrett who is running for York Outer.

Mr Starmer said the campaign in seats like York Outer – which has been held by Conservative Julian Sturdy since 2010 – is important for the party, writes Chloe Laversuch, local democracy reporter.

He said:

  • It’s key and we have an excellent candidate in Anna who’s battling hard. In these key marginals the battle matters and that can really change things.

    We’d love to do really well there and that’s what we’re fighting for and we have started by putting in a really excellent candidate.

    We want to build on the York Central constituency where Rachael has been a fantastic MP and I think people in York and across the country recognise that she’s been a brilliant member of Parliament and we want to get her re-elected so she can continue that great work.

He took questions from an audience of York Labour supporters about issues including housing, schools, the health service and Brexit.

But speaking about an interview between Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Neil broadcast the evening before the visit, in which Mr Corbyn was asked four times whether he would like to apologise for the way the Labour party deals with anti Semitism claims, Mr Starmer said: “It was a tough interview. Interviews with Andrew Neil are always tough. I thought Jeremy gave really good answers but it was tough – there’s no getting away from that.

“I’m not afraid to say sorry for the way we’ve handled these cases and I and others will redouble our efforts to make sure that we improve.”

Labour candidate backs University of York strike

Labour candidate for York Outer Anna Perrett has been visiting the picket line at the University of York today.

University And College Union members at 60 universities are taking part in strike action in two separate legal disputes, one on pensions and one on pay and working conditions.

According to the union, there has been strong support for the first of eight days of strikes, sending “a clear message that staff would not settle for pay cuts, increased pension costs or deteriorating conditions”.

This is what Anna Perrett tweeted today:

But her independent rival in York Outer Scott Marmion isn’t so supportive of the industrial action. Here’s his take:

Candidates to face school strikers from Extinction Rebellion in hustings

Students from the UK School Climate Network (UKSCN) will host a hustings to quiz York Central candidates about their environmental policies, it was announced today.

Members of Extinction Rebellion York and the University and College Union (UCU) will support the hustings.

From 4pm-6pm at the Malthouse, 9 The Crescent, students will invite each candidate to speak for three minutes, followed by a series of questions from the strikers and audience members.

The hustings will follow a day of strikes and actions across the city as part of the upcoming Global Climate Strike.

So far, Labour’s Rachael Maskell, Liberal Democrat James Blanchard, Brexit Party candidate Nicholas Szkiler, and Tom Franklin of the Green Party have confirmed their attendance.

“The aim is to make sure that this election is a climate election, and that we don’t allow politicians to be distracted by other issues – mainly Brexit – which will let them continue to ignore the climate crisis,” says Chloe Wilcox, school striker.

While the school strikers themselves are unable to vote due to age, their connections with other community groups makes them a formidable force in the upcoming election.

The public are welcome to attend.