Why Jarrow Conservative candidate believes he can win General Election battle
A Conservative General Election candidate has revealed why he believes he can clinch a staunchly Labour seat.
Nick Oliver is aiming to become the first Tory MP to serve Jarrow for 84 years.
Coun Oliver, currently a Northumberland County Council cabinet member, needs to overturn a 17,263 majority enjoyed by former Labour MP Stephen Hepburn in 2017.
But he insists: “I think if there is ever an opportunity to take Jarrow then it is now.
“The Labour Party are all over the place locally and in terms of Brexit. Labour have a big issue with Brexit and I think people will see through it.
“I am confident that people will look to the only party which will deliver Brexit and that is the Conservative Party.”
Asked about his own views on leaving the European Union, Coun Oliver said: “We have got to leave. Boris Johnson has brokered a deal. It is on the table.
“Let’s secure a majority and concentrate on the major issues which matter to the North East such as health, education and public services.”
Among the local issues he vows to tackle are bringing more jobs to Jarrow, stopping green belt development and challenging any further movement of health services from South Tyneside.
Coun Oliver, 53, who is married with five adult children and lives in Corbridge, Northumberland, also insists: “I would move to the constituency if I won. It is an exciting opportunity.”
Away from politics, he currently works in marketing for an online retailer and was previously both a finance director of a Teesside shipyard and a managing director of a mail order firm.
Labour, who have held the seat since 1935, will field a new candidate after Mr Hepburn was banned from defending his seat for the party because of an ongoing sexual harassment claim.
Kate Osborne, now confirmed as the party’s Jarrow candidate, has already encountered criticism for posting an image of former Prime Minister Theresa May with a gun to her head online during the 2017 General Election battle.
Coun Oliver said: “I do not wish to comment on any individual’s problems. I want to concentrate on issues.”