Harborough, Oadby and Wigston General Election candidates tell you why they think they deserve your vote

The Old Grammar School, Market Harborough
-Credit: (Image: Becky Jones)

General Election candidates in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston have set out why they believe they deserve your vote on Thursday, July 4. LeicestershireLive invited the candidates to tell you what they wanted you to know about them when you went to the polling booths.

Standing in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston are Danuta Bernadette Jeeves, for Reform UK, Phil Knowles, for the Liberal Democrats, Robin Lambert, for the Social Democratic Party , Neil O'Brien, for the Conservatives, Hajira Hanif Piranie, for Labour, and Darren Woodiwiss for the Green Party.

Neil O'Brien is the previous holder of the seat in the constituency, and is standing for the Conservatives again. He was first elected Conservative MP for Harborough in June 2017.

READ MORE: All the Leicester and Leicestershire General Election 2024 candidates

Polling has suggested Labour candidate Hajira Piranie could win the constituency, with 38 per cent of the vote to Mr O’Brien’s 34 per cent. YouGov has described the tight race between the two as a “toss up”.

Find out what your candidates have to say on the key issues below.

Conservative candidate Neil O'Brien

"I live in the Constituency with my wife and two young children. I love working on the big issues that matter to our community.

"I secured improvements to the bus services along the A6, resulting in a half-hourly service. I have been pressing for action to improve our town centres and this month the Prime Minister committed to a £20 million investment into Wigston and South Wigston.

"We secured £238 million extra from the government to improve transport in Leicestershire, and I’m pressing the council to use the money to improve the junctions on the A6 in Kibworth, as well as fixing potholes. I’m also fighting to get a Sunday bus service for Great Glen.

"Overall, crime has halved since 2010, and there are 332 more police officers in Leicestershire than four years ago. But there’s more to do, and we’re tackling the causes of crime by getting more people into drug treatment.

"I have battled to change the law to stop illegal immigration, and we have recently passed new legislation to do that, despite the opposition of the Labour Party.

"We’ve increased spending on the NHS to record levels. There are 50% more clinical staff in GP surgeries in this constituency than four years ago. As a health minister, I introduced ‘Pharmacy First’. You can now get NHS treatment from your local pharmacy for a range of minor illnesses, including antibiotics if you need them.

"Whatever the issue, I’ll always be active in working for you."

Labour candidate Hajira Piranie

"This constituency has always been my home and I want to be the voice for our towns and villages in Westminster. You deserve an MP that will be here for you throughout the year - not just at election time. I will always be your proud local champion.

"I want to work with businesses to see our local economy grow. All our families have felt the economic instability created by the Tories. The reckless Liz Truss mini-budget has increased the average mortgage in our constituency by £250. Labour will bring back economic stability, and we will turn the page on the chaos and cost of living crisis founded by the Conservatives.

"My biggest priority is to protect and rebuild our public services. 14 years of austerity and neglect has damaged everything from policing to education, to our NHS. As a sepsis survivor I know just how vital our NHS is to everyone. Labour will deliver 40,000 extra NHS appointments a week, and bring the waiting lists down.

"With living standards at a record low – I know that our children deserve better. They deserve to have good quality schools, with specialist teachers in every subject, and mental health support when needed. Only Labour can offer a brighter future for our young people; one in which buying your first home is possible.

"We need a fresh start, real change, and stability – and I want to bring that to Harborough, Oadby & Wigston."

Liberal Democrat candidate Phil Knowles

"Cllr Phil Knowles. Leader HDC, first Lib Dem in almost 20 years to hold the post is looking to become Constituency MP.

"Widely respected, campaigner with a thirty years track record of delivering, as with the “New Harborough Hospital” Phil believes this is the once in lifetime opportunity to elect an MP who is determined to deliver for the needs of the local community.

"It's the chance to make a change. Liberal Democrats have shown we deliver for our community. I am determined to do this at Westminster. I share the concerns of residents and businesses-many of who struggle daily . I ask people from across the political spectrum and those who have no political allegiance, please lend me your votes on July 4th. Help me be the difference for our community .

"Help me to take up your issues. For example. Lack of GP and Dental appointments, struggles with hospitals and hospital beds. Challenges of ambulance call outs and handovers. Cost of living crisis, schools, families through to senior citizens. How can it be right that for example many people need food banks just to survive?

"Businesses need a strong local voice - Local people need to see positive change for them and their families. I am the STRONG LOCAL CHAMPION that can deliver this ”

"Phil intends to challenge anyone in positions of influence in the next parliament to commit to reviewing the decision on Gartree prison two. Is it not more cost effective, logical to build this new prison elsewhere ?”

Reform UK candidate Danuta Jeeves

Former teacher Danuta Jeeves is standing as the Reform UK Candidate.

“I am a 66-year-old recently retired teacher, mother and grandmother and I have a lot of life experiences and knowledge , especially in education and have always been proud to be British.

"I am standing to be a political candidate as I am totally frustrated by the current anti-democratic government that supposedly runs Great Britain according to the will of the people, when in fact, it has done the complete opposite and thwarted the wishes of the very people who voted both nationally and locally.

"We are now indoctrinated by a woke and cancel culture establishment, which prevents freedom of speech, and which is supported by an equally biased media , which does not allow for robust debate .

"Our great country is rapidly losing its identity and all its services are broken; the justice system, education, The NHS, Energy services; the list is endless. Reform UK is the only party with the common sense to bring about real change and reform to the country so that it is a fair and efficient place to live.

"I am therefore standing as a candidate for the only party that will address the real issues that the public want addressing and will do my utmost to ensure that you, the public is listened to.

“Britain and its counties need change and Reform UK is the only party that will do this. Reform UK is the party of common sense and the Peoples’ Party."

Also standing in the constituency are Robin Lambert, for the Social Democratic Party, and Darren Woodiwiss, for the Green Party. We invited all of them to submit statements for inclusion in this article, but had not received any from them by the publication deadline.