The Newport West by-election on April 4 will be significant for a number of reasons - not least that it will see a new MP elected for the constituency for the first time since 1987. There are an unprecedented 11 candidates standing in the election, and, in the second in a series of interviews, IAN CRAIG met June Davies of the Renew Party.

THE Newport West by-election will be the first time the Renew Party has run a candidate for Parliament.

But the party has no lack of dedication, having set up a campaign office in the centre of Newport, and candidate June Davies is throwing herself into campaigning with both feet.

Renew is is in favour of a so-called 'people's vote' on the UK's membership of the European Union, and Ms Davies, an economics teacher and mother-of-three, with a professional background in the energy sector and breweries, said Brexit is an important issue. But she said it should not overshadow local issues, with housing and transport top of her priorities.


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"More than anything I felt that this is an opportunity to make a difference," she said.

"People aren’t political engaged as a whole. They might have viewpoints that lead them towards Labour or the Conservatives, but most people I speak to are really disenchanted with everything going on.

"The other thing I've heard a lot of in discussions with people is that young people feel there's a loss of hope for them.

"I've got three kids - one's 23, ones 17 and one's 18. They’ve all gone to local schools and two were born in the Royal Gwent.

"I've seen the worries they have, going to out trying to find work, finding short terms work with zero hour contracts alongside their studies and looking at what life is going to be like for them.

"That made me think I need to get up and put my head above the parapet."

Ms Davies, who lives in Ponthir and says she is sceptical about the M4 relief road 'black route', said she is well aware Newport is a historically Labour-supporting city, but felt now is a better time than ever to overturn that domination.

"The Labour Party is fighting among itself about what the frontbench want and what Momentum want - are they representing what the people of Newport think?," she said.

"Have they come off the fence about Brexit?

"I think polls have showed the feeling has changed from Leave to Remain, and that’s simply because the truth is out now, and the lies have been rejected.

"We've been at the forefront of trying to reject those lies from day one and we need to make sure that we can make a difference by representing people appropriately."

Although she's an untested candidate, and Renew have not fought a by-election before, Ms Davies said she would fight "tooth and nail" for the best possible outcome of the Brexit negotiations and to represent the people of Newport West.

"I'm a rookie politician, but that doesn't mean I can't present myself well.

"I can't wait to go on that platform."


Age: 52

Originally from: Cardigan, Ceredigion

Education: Studied English and History at Swansea University

Professional background: Worked in the brewery and energy sector, and is now an economics teacher

Family: Divorced, three children, aged 23, 18 and 17

Hobbies: Singing, live music, going to the pub


- Jonathan Clark, Plaid Cymru

- June Davies, Renew

- Matthew Evans, Conservative

- Neil Hamilton, Ukip

- Ruth Jones, Labour

- Ryan Jones, Lib Dem

- Ian McLean, SDP

- Hugh Nicklin, For Britain

- Richard Suchorzewski, the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

- Phillip Taylor, Democrats and Veterans Party

- Amelia Womack, Green Party