General election 2024: The candidates standing in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr

The newly-created Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr will take on two areas which are both currently Conservative-held. It is one of two seats, one poll predicts the Conservatives will hold at the next election.

It will be made up of all the existing Montgomeryshire seat and 46.6% of Clywd South. The boundaries of all but one Welsh seat have changed ahead of the 2024 election, only Ynys Mon (the island of Anglesey) remains untouched, all others have seen changes which could impact the results on election night. You can read the background to the changes here.

Instead of 40 constituencies, there are now 32 in Wales and the idea behind it is to make all Westminster constituencies the same size.

READ MORE: What is my general election 2024 constituency - as 90% of areas hit by boundary changes

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Where does the constituency cover?

It includes Newtown, Caersws, Trewern and Llansantffraid.

You can also find your constituency by entering your postcode here:

What happened in the general election in 2019

Who is standing?

  • Jeremy David Brignell-Thorp (Green Party)

  • Oliver Lewis (Reform UK)

  • Glyn Preston (Lib Dem)

  • Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru)

  • Craig Williams (Conservatives)

  • Steve Witherden (Labour)

The candidates

The same questions are being put to every candidate, and their answers will be updated here.

Oliver Lewis, Reform UK

I am 37 and one of four siblings. I was born in Oxford and grew up north of there; but my father's father was Welsh, and the Welsh side of my family speak Welsh as their mother tongue. I have lived in Montgomery for six years, where I came to write the manuscript for my first book 'The Orwell Tour: Travels Through the Life and Work of George Orwell'. I am a travel writer part-time, but my main preoccupation is academia, where I am reading for a Doctorate in British History. I teach History and Politics at my home university - Oxford - and also at SciencesPo in Paris, approximate to a French version of the LSE. Prior to this I worked in financial services, but hated office life and feel much better suited to a 'portfolio' career. My hobbies are (unsurprisingly!) reading, writing and travelling.

Name a policy you wish to see enacted

Whistle blowers in both the private and public sectors face the same common treatment: marginalisation, and then displacement. The law, on paper at least, is strong; my experience is that in practice, it is weak. Many people think that HR departments are there to protect employees. They aren't. They exist to protect the company. 'Bad apple managers' hide behind corporate liability and thus virtually unlimited resources. Instead, I would move liability to the manager. Any manager in any organisation where bullying is provable will become personally liable in law. All it would take is one or two convictions, and the culture of British work places would I think change very quickly.

What's the biggest issue facing Wales?

The biggest issue facing Wales has to be secondary education. Wales has the worst secondary education system in Britain by some margin. Secondary school buildings are generally of low-quality, and outcomes across the attainment range compare badly to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Traditionally, this was never the case - Wales' secondary schools, and particularly its grammar schools, were a 'net exporter' of teachers to the rest of the UK.

Improving our secondary schools' buildings and the level of attainment of pupils has to be the number one priority for all politicians in Wales. I would favour the creation of specialist vocational schools which pupils could join at, say, age 13 and pursue any number of options in the skilled trades. These would have to be generously funded and created in collaboration with communities and business across Wales, so that our schools can provide the skilled workers our industries need.

Who has been the best British Prime Minister and why?

The best British Prime Minister has I think to be Clement Attlee. I studied his method of government closely as an undergraduate and it never left me; close, diligent analysis of the evidence before him and 'making calls' which were often very difficult but which in the long term proved to be in the national interest. He was a patriot who loved his country, and worked very hard in the impossible circumstances of 1945-51, after an economically devastating war, to place Britain on a firmer footing for the future.

He had integrity, was a good judge of character, and possessed a range of life experiences which meant his decision-making was rooted in a sort of intellectually-honest 'common sense', a hallmark of his Englishness. He had a capable, understated style of leadership, and was not ‘politically tribal’ in the conventional way. We can learn a lot from him.

Steve Witherden (Labour)

Steve Witherden, Labour candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr
Reform UK candidate for Monmouthshire and Glyndwr, Oliver Lewis -Credit:Oliver Lewis

I was born in Wrexham, grew up in Llantysilio and Llangollen and have lived in Acrefair for 15 years. I studied at Lampeter and Aberystwyth University. I have always lived in Mid and North Wales; my father came to the area in the 1970s as a founding member of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth.

I married my wife, an NHS worker, 14 years ago. We have two children who attend local state schools in the constituency. I have been a teacher in Wrexham for 18 years while also holding elected roles in my union: Workplace Rep (2009); County Secretary (2015); National Executive (2020); and Cymru President (2021-22).

My teaching job, trade union and Labour Party roles alongside having a young family unfortunately doesn’t leave much time for hobbies. When I was younger and fitter I loved football and rugby – now walking our dog is my main form of exercise!

Name a policy you want to see become law if elected as an MP

The New Deal for Working People contains a whole raft of legislation that I would like to see enacted, from banning the practice of fire and rehire to ending exploitative zero-hours contracts.

Being one of four elected National Executive Members for Wales in my union role has given me a better understanding of how the Labour Party was founded through the rise of the Trade Union Movement. Labour was created to protect working people from exploitation and impoverishment at the hands of rapacious and ruthless employers, that had grown rich off the back of the labour of working people.

When you see the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and child poverty with your own eyes, it is glaringly obvious that the Labour Party and its founding purpose is as relevant today – and as urgently needed – as it has ever been.

What's the biggest issue facing Wales and what will you do to fix it?

Sadly, there are currently multiple, very serious issues facing Wales. One thing that could fix a lot of these problems, however, is the Green New Deal. The cost-of-living crisis is being driven by the continually rising prices of basic needs – one of the biggest of course being energy and utility bills.

Whilst we all get poorer, super-rich fossil fuel multinational companies pocket record-breaking profits. The Green New Deal would set up Great British Energy, creating jobs in Wales via the vast expansion of renewable energy sources, be publicly owned (so no profiteering at our expense); and ease the cost-of-living crisis by creating cheap, homegrown power. This will see us become less dependent on authoritarian regimes for fossil fuels and help to save our planet from the devastating impacts of climate change.

Who has been the best British Prime Minister and why?

Charles Grey. As Leader of the House of Commons in 1807, he passed the legislation that banned Britain's involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. As Prime Minister in the 1830s, he abolished slavery in the British Empire (over thirty years before the Americans and without a bloody civil war to boot) and gave the vote to sixteen-times more people than prior to him taking office.

He also ended the undemocratic and corrupt Rotten Boroughs and Pocket Boroughs. He did all this in half the time of David Cameron’s tenure.