Wakefield and Tiverton by-elections: Why we’re having one, when is it and who is favourite to win?

Neil Parish  (PA)
Neil Parish (PA)

By-elections will take place in Wakefield and Tiverton next week, after two Tory MPs resigned in disgrace.

Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan and Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish both quit in recent months amid separate scandals.

Their West Yorkshire and Devon seats are now vacant, and their successors will be determined in a by-election next week.

But why are there by-elections and who is likely to win?

When are the by-elections?

Both votes will take place on Thursday, June 23.

Why are there by-elections?

The polls were triggered following the resignation of Tory MPs.

There will be a by-election in Wakefield after Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. He has been jailed for 18 months.

On May 3, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak appointed Khan to be Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, which is a formal mechanism for an MP to quit. Khan said he will appeal the conviction and focus on “entirely clearing” his name.

There will be a by-election in Tiverton and Honiton after Tory MP Neil Parish quit after admitting to watching pornography in Parliament.

He was suspended by the Conservative Party, and although he initially intended to remain an MP while his behaviour was investigated, he later resigned. Parish has decided not to run as an independent candidate in the upcoming by-election.

Who is expected to win the by-elections?

Labour is hoping to win the Wakefield seat, which it held for 87 years before the Conservatives won it in 2019.

NHS worker Simon Lightwood is running for Labour in Wakefield. He is a member of the party’s national policy forum and sits on Yorkshire Labour’s regional board.

Nadeem Ahmed is the Conservative party’s candidate. He is a Conservative councillor for Wakefield South and was the leader of the Wakefield Conservative group from 2014 to 2021. Jamie Needle will run for the Liberal Democrats. He has served on Menston Parish Council and was also the candidate for Wakefield in 2019.

In Tiverton, Helen Hurford is running for the Conservative party, with the support of former Wakefield MP Neil Parish. Tiverton and Honiton has been served by a Conservative MP since its creation in 1997, and the area has been represented by the Tory party since 1923.

Liz Pole, a local businesswoman, is the Labour party’s candidate, while Richard Foord, who served in the army for ten years, will run for the Lib Dems.