Sheffield councillor chosen as Labour’s replacement for David Blunkett

Harry Harpham
Harry Harpham
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A Sheffield councillor is gearing up to try to fill David Blunkett’s ‘big shoes’ as a Sheffield MP.

Harry Harpham has been selected by the Labour Party as its prospective parliamentary candidate for Brightside and Hillsborough in the next General Election, after Mr Blunkett announced his retirement earlier this year.

Coun Harpham, who represents Darnall, and has been Deputy Leader of Sheffield Council for three years, said: “I really privileged. They are big shoes to fill - David has been a great MP. I hope I can follow in his footsteps.”

He said he plans to meet as many residents in the constituency as possible in the run-up to the election.

The politician, who was a striking miner in the 1980s and a keen trades union activist before becoming a councillor in 2000, added: “I will be meeting people and telling them that Labour understand their problems and that we have the answer.

“We understand what they are going through.”

He said he would be fighting for the construction of more housing and against the privatisation of the NHS.

Coun Harpham said he would also be supporting the reversal of the Health and Social Care Act, which has seen changes to the benefits system over recent years.

He said he would also fight for a freeze of energy bills.

Fellow Labour councillor Jack Scott said: “I’m thrilled the local party has chosen a genuinely local candidate who will stand up and fight for the community.

“Harry has bags of real life experience and understands the concerns of everyday families really well. I know he will do an excellent job and can make a great MP.”

Mr Blunkett has served as a Sheffield MP for 28 years, with his political life starting when he was elected as a Sheffield councillor at the age of 22.

He has served as Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary.