All-woman shortlist for Labour in Brightside and Hillsborough by-election

Elections file picture. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Elections file picture. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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Three women have been named on the Labour shortlist for the upcoming Brightside and Hillsborough parliamentary by-election in Sheffield.

The seat has been vacant since the death of Labour MP Harry Harpham in February.

The three people on the shortlist to be Labour’s candidate to replace Mr Harpham are his widow Gill Furniss, Jayne Dunn and Dr Jayne Lim.

Gill Furniss and Jayne Dunn are both city councillors, while Dr Jayne Lim is a junior doctor and health economist.

Oliver Coppard, who took on then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at last year’s general election in Sheffield Hallam, failed to make the shortlist.

Jayne Dunn, who represents the Broomhill ward and is currently cabinet member for housing, said she wanted to give a ‘real voice to real people’.

Jayne Dunn

Jayne Dunn

“I understand what our community is going through because I’ve lived it, not read about it,” she added. “I was a single mum on benefits who was made homeless. But I went on to live in social housing, study at Sheffield College, teach in further education and start my own business. And I’ve got a record of delivery too.

“I trekked the Sahara for charity and as Sheffield Council’s housing chief I’ve cracked down on rogue landlords and delivered 1,000 homes by 2020. I’ll be the MP the public will believe in.”

Gill Furniss, who represents Southey, was elected on to the city council in 1999, a year before her late husband. She has been a cabinet member and scrutiny board chairman and has worked in public services her whole life.

She said: “I’m born and bred in Sheffield Brightside, my dad worked at the steelworks and I started work in First Park Library at the age of 16. For over 25 years I worked in public service in our city, from further education to in our NHS at Northern General.

Gill Furniss

Gill Furniss

“When I stood shoulder to shoulder with my husband Harry at the last election, whose death sadly led to this by-election, I never dreamt I’d be standing. But he’d be the first person to tell me to roll my sleeves up and get on with it. So that’s what I’m doing.”

And Dr Jayne Lim said Prime Minister David Cameron was ‘putting local people at risk’ with changes to the junior doctors contract.

“Sheffield deserves better,” she said.

No date has yet been set for the by-election.