October 24, 2022 11.27 am This story is over 13 months old

Lincoln Labour MP candidate race: Two frontrunners as Karen Lee stands down

Two candidates have put their names forward

Former MP for Lincoln Karen Lee has ruled herself out of the running for the city’s Labour candidate at the next General Election, paving the way for two new frontrunners to take on Karl McCartney and the Conservatives.

Karen Lee won a seat in Parliament in 2017 when she defeated Karl McCartney to become Lincoln’s MP, but it was a stint that lasted just two years as Mr McCartney won back his seat at the 2019 General Election led by Boris Johnson.

Since then, Karen has returned to her day job as a nurse to help out during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as becoming a Lincolnshire County Councillor for the Ermine and Cathedral wards.

Back in 2020, she told The Lincolnite that she would love to return to Westminster one day, but it would appear that she has since had a change of heart.

She will now allow someone else to stand for Labour at the next General Election – which could well be weeks away as the fallout continues from Liz Truss’ resignation as Prime Minister.

Former Lincoln MP Karen Lee returned to work as a nurse during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Member of Parliament for Lincoln said: “It was the absolute honour of my life to go to Westminster in 2017 and represent my home city of Lincoln.

“I became part of an inspirational team who had a real vision of a better, fairer society and a costed plan of how to achieve that. Many of those people remain good friends of mine to this day.

“After much careful thought though I have decided not to put my name forward for the parliamentary selection process in Lincoln at this time. I’d like to say thank-you to everybody who has shown me appreciation and support, I have really appreciated that kindness.

“We need a General Election and a Labour government more now than we ever have in this country. When the current Tory government can no longer avoid that GE I shall be out there on the doorsteps with the Labour team helping to make that dream a reality.”

So far, two leading candidates have come forward with bids for the opportunity to represent Labour in the Lincoln constituency, and if successful just one of them will take on Conservative MP Karl McCartney at the next General Election.

McCartney has served two separate stints as Lincoln’s MP, first between 2010 and 2017, and then again from 2019 to the present day. He is also an executive member of the 1922 Committee.

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Hamish Falconer: Lincoln needs ‘vision and leadership’

The first to announce his candidacy was Hamish Falconer, member of the British diplomatic service and son of Labour peer and Tony Blair’s former Lord Chancellor Charlie Falconer.

Cambridge University-educated Hamish has been a Labour campaigner for most of his life, and he feels a “sense of desire and opportunity” in representing Lincoln within parliament, stating he wants to defeat Karl McCartney and “push the city forward” under a Labour regime.

He told The Lincolnite that he feels fit for the role due to his balanced understanding of both Whitehall and local issues – mentioning the importance of RAF bases and the University of Lincoln for the city’s economic growth and prosperity, as well as the prompt nature of reaching net zero targets by 2030.

For more information on Hamish’s story and what he pledges for Lincoln, visit his electoral campaign website.

Cllr Naomi Tweddle: From Lincoln, For Lincoln

The other leading name in the race to become Labour’s Lincoln candidate is City of Lincoln Councillor Naomi Tweddle, who currently represents the city’s Minster ward.

Tweddle, who also works as a lawyer for Unison, the United Kingdom’s largest public service trade union, outlined her key pledges to address economic injustice and inequality, as well as providing opportunities for local people and retaining high-skilled workers from the university to stay in Lincoln for job growth.

The City of Lincoln Councillor also said she wants to be ‘an MP for Lincoln rather than an MP’, discussing her local roots of being born and raised in the Ermine – allowing her to possess an understanding of everyday issues in local society.

To find out more and read her campaign priorities, visit Naomi Tweddle’s website.

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