Veteran councillor Gill Furniss was last night chosen by Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough Labour Party as their candidate for the by-election triggered by the death of her husband Harry Harpham.
Furniss has been a councillor in Sheffield for 16 years, and has 25 years of experience working in the public sector in the city.
Local members voted for Furniss from a shortlist of three candidates, which also featured Jayne Lim and Jayne Dunn.
She is well known to local members, having played a major role in last year’s election campaign in the seat, which was won by her Harpham, who passed away last month. No date has yet been set for the by-election, with May 5th looking increasingly likely for the polling date.
Labour has a majority of 13,807 in Sheffield Brightside, and has not failed to win the seat or its historical predecessors since 1931.
Furniss said this morning that she was “incredibly proud” to have been selected:
Incredibly proud today to be waking up today as @UKLabour's candidate for the by-election in Brightside & Hillsborough, my home.
— Gill Furniss (@gill_furniss) March 4, 2016
Writing on her website before the selection, she said:
“I’m from Sheffield and I’m standing for Sheffield. I love our city and have lived a real life here. I know how tough things are for local people under this government. That is why I will never stop campaigning for an alternative to the Tories’ ideologically driven austerity agenda which is betraying our city, our people and the next generation.
“People want politicians who look, sound and live like them. They want a straight answer to a straight question and respect someone who will stick to their guns.”
Congratulations to Gill, and commiserations to the other candidates.