The leader of the Ashfield Independents has announced he will be standing at the next General Election in a bid to become the MP for Ashfield.
Councillor Jason Zadrozny is currently the leader of Ashfield District Council, after his party won by a landslide in May’s local elections, taking 26 of 31 seats in a former Labour heartland.
Across the constituency – the Ashfield Independent party secured 30,209 votes, Labour 6,980 and the Conservatives won 2,830 at the last local election.
But he will be up against sitting MP Labour’s Gloria De Piero, who has served as the MP for the constituency since 2010.
Earlier this week, the Ashfield Conservatives announced Lee Anderson – who was formerly Gloria De Piero’s office manager – would be their candidate at the next General Election.
At the last general election in 2017, Labour won with a majority of just 441 over the Conservatives, with the Ashfield Independents well beaten into third place.
Last time Councillor Zadrozny stood in a general election – for the Liberal Democrats in 2010 – he was beaten by just 192 votes, as the current MP won her seat for the first time.
While there has been much speculation about an early General Election being called, one does not have to be held until June 2022.
Councillor Zadrozny said: ‘Since our landslide victory in May, thousands of residents have been in touch, asking me if I would to stand for Parliament.
‘Not a day goes by without numerous residents stopping me in Ashfield, Brinsley or Eastwood. I have thought long and hard about this – it’s been a tough decision but I feel ready to go for it.
‘I love our area – that’s what motivated me to get involved in politics in the first place. I’ve looked at what we have achieved as a team running our council. Imagine what we could achieve if we had the council and the MP working in tandem.
‘Since we took over the council last year – we have delivered so much. We have made massive improvements to our area like kick-starting the massive regeneration process in Sutton Town Centre, securing £14million of funding for two new swimming pools and a new leisure centre in Kirkby, saving the leisure centre from closing in Selston and putting pride back into communities through our spring cleans and reducing fly-tipping by getting tough on environmental crime.
‘We are also delivering much needed jobs and work. Only this week, contracts have been signed bringing in the biggest investment our area has ever seen which will deliver 1,800 good quality new jobs.
‘I have shown as council leader that I can deliver real results – as our MP I could deliver so much more positive change locally. I would like to thank everyone who has either stopped me in the street, emailed or phoned me giving their their encouragement. Ashfield has been let down by the Labour Party for decades.’
Speaking when he was selected to be the Conservative candidate, former miner Lee Anderson said: ‘Seven years I was working 12 hour nights in a homeless hostel on living wage. I loved that job.
‘Tonight I was selected by the Ashfield Conservative Party to be the Parliamentary candidate at the next General Election.
‘I am speechless but feeling very proud and deeply humble.’