Jeanette Sunderland selected to fight Bradford West for the Liberal Democrats

David Ward, Jeanette Sunderland and police
Photo: David Ward MP, Jeanette Sunderland and police – Flickr.

Bradford Liberal Democrats have selected Jeanette Sunderland to be their candidate in the Bradford West by-election on 29 March.

The writ was moved yesterday for the by-election after Marsha Singh resigned, for health reasons.

Born and bred in Bradford, Jeanette has been a local councillor for 18 years. In that time she has built up a reputation for being a strong voice for Bradford, and is currently leader of the Lib Dem group on Bradford Council.

Following the announcement of her selection, Jeanette commented:

I am delighted to have been selected by local party members to fight this by-election for the Liberal Democrats.

For nearly forty years Bradford West has had Labour MPs who have failed to deliver fairer taxes for local people, failed to close the gap in health inequality in our city and failed to improve our city centre. I think Bradford deserves better. For too long local people have been neglected, by a Labour party that takes them for granted.

Labour held all three Bradford seats for over 20 years but their monopoly was broken in 2010, when Liberal Democrat David Ward stormed to victory in the neighbouring Bradford East constituency. Since then David has been raising the profile of Bradford in Westminster. David said:

I worked with Jeanette on Bradford Council for 16 years and I know there is no-one better at fighting for Bradford. Bradford needs another strong and independent-minded campaigner speaking up for our city in Parliament.

This by-election in Bradford West gives people a clear choice. Either they’ll get another Labour MP, who’ll take the area for granted, or they can back Jeanette and have a strong, local, positive voice, fighting for them at Westminster.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections.


  • I presume this is donkey with a red rosette territory?

  • Stan Collins 7th Mar '12 - 11:41pm

    It would be difficult to think of a better choice for this seat than Jeanette. David Ward has raised our profile in the city and Jeanette has a great record of fighting its corner.

    I know that we’re third at the moment but it’s time we had a really rollicking good by-election.

  • Paul McKeown 8th Mar '12 - 12:51am

    A very difficult by-election to fight, but it is imperative that the LDs put forward a candidate. Good luck to Jeanette Sunderland and I hope she gets good support.

  • Richard Dean 8th Mar '12 - 1:05am

    It is certainly absolutely essential that we fight all parliamentary elections. While a young Asian candidate might have had a deeper understanding of Asian culture and values, we should also remember that MPs address wider issues, including how different cultures interact. Jeanette has a long record of experience and service in Bradford, and will certainly be able to represent all cultures well. She has been chosen democratically, and I am sure that we all support her and wish her well.

  • Paul Ankers 8th Mar '12 - 8:48am

    I’m with Lester on this. Good opportunity to blood an Asian candidate. Whereas I don’t agree with positive discrimation and lists etc, I do believe we should be putting forward more BME candidates. We need them in the parliamentary party. Was there any in the frame?

  • Ed Maxfield 8th Mar '12 - 10:22am

    Jeanette is fabulous – she will be a great candidate and would be a very good MP.

  • Stan Collins 8th Mar '12 - 10:52am

    We should always choose the best candidate regardless of race, creed, gender, sexuality, class (we never seem to mention that!) or any other irrelevance. With Jeanette the local party has chosen a doughty fighter for Bradford who inspires my admiration. We should go out to win – however improbable that may seem to those who favour despair. Labour certainly isn’t taking this for granted otherwise they would not have called the by-election in this way.

    In third place, the only way this can do us harm is if we sit around wringing our hands and agonising over ‘what ifs’ rather than getting out on the street, campaigning.

  • Neil Bradbury 8th Mar '12 - 12:55pm

    Good to see a good local candidate and especially good on Int Womens Day to see us putting another good female candidate forward.

  • Richard Dean 8th Mar '12 - 1:04pm

    @Lester Holloway – We are on the same page on this, very much so because getting elected is a major part of the process of effective politics. For this reason, as well as the excellence of Jeanette herself, and for reasons mentioned by Neil Bradbury and others, our task now is to focus on supporting ouyr chosen candidate.

  • Lester – it’s worth noting that we’ve had a Muslim candidate in 3 of the last 4 elections in Bradford West and the deputy leader of our council group is Muslim and so it’s not as if we don’t have Asians in prominent positions in the Liberal Democrats in Bradford.

    However, Jeanette is one of the most formidable campaigners in the whole of the Liberal Democrats and is very well respected locally and nationally. Given the short time we have until polling day I think having someone who can hit the ground running and who is already high profile in the city is what we need to turn in a decent performance in this particular election. I understand, but I can’t say for certain, that there wasn’t a local Asian candidate interested in standing, although there may have been someone from elsewhere in the country.

  • Foregone Conclusion 8th Mar '12 - 5:10pm

    @Lester – I agree we need to widen our representation, but picking individual selections and saying ‘we should have had a BME /woman/LGBT candidate’ isn’t the way to do it. Jeanette sounds eminently qualified (not to say that there weren’t equally qualified Asian candidates – I don’t know). Besides, if she’s elected she would help redress an imbalance almost as dire in parliamentary party – the lack of women MPs!

  • Interesting to bring up Kwasi Kwarteng > isn’t the lesson that EM candidates don’t need to be run in ‘ghettoes’ or ‘urban areas’ or any number of other weasel words for the same thing? A by-election like this, you need to hit the ground running with an experienced local campaigner, and in Bradford that’s Jeanette. Coupled with David’s campaigns on insurance and investing in Bradford this could be really interesting.

    Disclaimer: i’m a former resident of Bradford West, was a candidate there last year, and do remember some great future candidates from the area who just aren’t available or ready yet.

  • Richard Dean 9th Mar '12 - 10:58am

    @Lester. I agree that it does look like something;s wrong. There are other issues too. Elections don’t start and end in three weeks, getting elected is a five year process, at least. Every constiutuency should have a candidate in place now for the next election, and that candidate should be getting themselves known the voters now, writing newspaper artiles and appearing on Radio and TV and Internet, showing achievements if in power, otherwise showing how LibDems would have tackled the issues differently. That goes for your young Asian as much as for anyone else. One reason why Labour and Conservative dominate is that they are always in the local and national news. To challenge them, we have to be there too,.And all the time, not just for a few weeks around election time. But now IS election time, and I am sure you will agree that our way forward is to support Jeanette.

  • Ed Maxfield 9th Mar '12 - 12:30pm

    Richard, it is impossible to select candidates now because we do not know what the boundaries will be for the next general election. Those boundaries may be radically different from last time given the reduction in the number of MPs and the restrictions on size variation.

  • Richard Dean 9th Mar '12 - 12:58pm

    @Ed Maxfield. That is absolute nonsense, and is a sure way to get us defeated next time. You select candidates now for the constituencies as they are now. You campaign. If and when the constituencies change, you have an internal discussion about how we represent the new constituencies. You sort it out quickly and get campaigning again. You don’t wait till the election is announced! And anyway, most constituencies won’t change the huge amount you say.

  • Sorry Richard but the only thing your suggestion would achieve would be to lose a year in bitter selection appeals in a whole bunch of target seats once the new boundaries are announced.
    There is no need to wait til you have a ppc to start campaigning – any area hoping to win in 2015 should already be campaigning hard.

    And there is no need to wait til the election is announced – as I understand it the boundary review will have reached a point where we can start selecting candidates at the end of this year.

    But you have to wait til it is constitutionally possible before the selections are made. It is, in any case, a rather academic debate because the national party wont let anyone start selecting now.

  • Richard Dean 11th Mar '12 - 11:00pm

    @Ed Maxfield. This is a party that does seem to like doing things the hard way! 🙂

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 13th Aug - 3:34pm
    Paul Holmes: The news today said the percentage of A-level students receiving the highest has increased over last year. So I'm not sure how that...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 13th Aug - 3:11pm
    @Laurence Cox "The decision to remove the Universities’ from the Examination Boards ... and replace them with competing commercial companies was almost calculated to give...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 13th Aug - 3:08pm
    Considering more recent history, I have been wondering what can cause groups to break away from the Labour party. After reading the Obituary of the...
  • User AvatarDavid 13th Aug - 3:06pm
    I have asked this before and never got a satisfactory answer. I am sure that all connected with progressive politics will sympathise with the plight...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 13th Aug - 2:05pm
    I think Mark gets it spot on when he describes our two originator parties. The result is we have a party in which the leaders...
  • User AvatarMark Seaman 13th Aug - 1:44pm
    'The way we treat these sad souls arriving from war zones, refugee camps and the deserts of North Africa needs no rating – it is...