A BUSINESS owner who is the first ever independent candidate to put themselves forward in his constituency has admitted he has a mountain to climb to get elected.
Nigel Short (52, pictured), of Aston, is hoping to present people in Rother Valley with an alternative approach to the traditional parties — but the seat has only ever been represented by Labour candidates since its formation in 1918.
He said he had told former MP Sir Kevin Barron two years ago that he would be standing against him at the next election.
Sir Kevin retired when the General Election was called after representing Rother Valley for 36 years.
“I’m not claiming any credit for him standing down and initially I thought I didn’t need to stand,” said Nigel.
“Labour in this area put up for selection this new candidate and clearly it was a Momentum-inspired selection — and they seem to be pulling the strings in this Labour party.”
Nigel said he had enjoyed attending a hustings event in Maltby recently because he did not have to think about the party line before answering a question.
“A big reason I decided to stand is that you never get a straight answer from politicians,” he said.
“It’s all about the risk of deselection for the majority of MPs and for me, it’s not, I genuinely want to represent the Rother Valley area.
“I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn and I really don’t like Boris Johnson either — I think he’s quite dangerous.
“A lot of people are saying it’s quite nice to have someone else [to vote for].”
Nigel, who runs a telecomms firm, was realistic about his prospects at the election.
He said: “I have got a mountain to climb — the major parties all have large advertising budgets and I don’t.
“I’m very honest, very approachable, and that will set me apart from a lot of MPs who are in it for themselves rather than the people who put them there.”
Nigel said he had always had an interest in politics and had been a Labour voter until 2001.
“I took great exception to the Iraq War, like a lot of people, and I stopped voting after that,” he said.
“The only vote I took part in since then was the EU Referendum.”
Nigel said he had only made up his mind on Brexit on his way to the polling station but he voted for remain.
He said he had done so because he supported the benefits of the European Health Insurance Card and his long-term goal was to retire to Spain.
However, he said the UK needed to leave at the earliest opportunity so the country could “get on with everything else we need to get on with” and he would have no qualms about voting for Brexit in Parliament.
The other candidates standing in Rother Valley are:
Allen Cowles (Brexit)
Alexander Stafford (Con)
Colin Taylor (Lib Dems)
Emily West (Green)
Sophie Wilson (Lab)