The Newport West by-election on Thursday, April 4, will see a new MP elected for the constituency for the first time since 1987. There are 11 candidates running in the by-election - and there they set out why they believe you should vote for them.

Jonathan Clark, Plaid Cymru

South Wales Argus:

Together, we can build a New Wales, and we can lay its foundations here, in Newport.

Politics has never seemed so uncertain. Whoever wins this election will walk into a House of Commons already cracking under the weight of its own incompetence.

Brexit has exposed the total inability of the tired, old Westminster parties to get to grips with the issues facing our community.

The architect of this mess, Theresa May is being abandoned by her Brexit builders, but is still being helped along by her trusty Labourer, Jeremy Corbyn. Both Westminster parties are complicit in this chaos.

We can send them a clear message in this election. It’s time for Newport to be radical again, it’s time for us to be creative again, it’s time for us to demand better again.

While the Westminster parties compete to out-pollute each other with demands for the M4 black route to be built, Plaid Cymru are calling for a public transport revolution for Newport. We know that the Metro is the only option that will save our environment, our time, and our money.

Our billions should not be blown on bulldozing the Gwent levels. We must demand an end to this nonsensical approach and choose an alternative which will actually deliver for us, the people who live here in Newport.

We’ll reverse the tide on rough sleeping in our city, not by punishing the vulnerable as Labour and the Tories continue to do, but by providing safe, accessible, and supportive services for everyone in need.

Our city’s history demands radicalism and our present demands action. We can be justly proud of everything Newport has achieved.

From our industrial past to our sporting future we have consistently punched above our weight, but we must now end the stagnation we’ve suffered under the dominance of a tired old Labour party, and chart a new course for our city.

We must all get to work, and forge from the fire of this broken British state a New Wales which will forever be remembered as having been built in Newport.

June Davies, Renew

South Wales Argus:

At a time when many are sick of politics, it’s about time we presented a positive case for change. The Newport West by-election is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Most people have a party that they usually vote for, but this time it is different. Nobody can have watched what has been going on in Westminster and think that the current parties are serving the country well. I have spoken to so many people that feel that they cannot do anything to stop the madness, but the most powerful thing that you can do now is vote. You can make a decision to use this by-election to tell the establishment parties that you will not be taken for granted.

I have lived and worked in South Wales for over 25 years, so I know the area well. Newport’s problems, such as lack of investment in education and the decline of our high street can be fixed, but none of the old parties are up to it. We are ready for change, because the trust we previously put in our leaders has not been repaid.


If you believe that the future of Newport depends on securing opportunities for young people, vote for me. I will work with the Welsh Assembly to invest in education so that children can learn and students can flourish.

If you believe that Newport needs sustainable transport solutions, vote for me.

If you also believe that a strong local economy is fundamental to Newport’s success, vote for me. I will engage with the business community to nurture skills across a range of industries and campaign to get school leavers and adults into good apprenticeships.

Most of all, if you think that we can and must do better in our politics and our government, then vote for me. It’s not easy to put trust in something different, but Westminster will never change unless you change the people that you send to Westminster. With us, you can do that on April 4.

Matthew Evans, Conservative

South Wales Argus:

Newport is my home: I was raised here, and my family have lived here for generations. It’s a great City, and if I have the honour of becoming the next MP for Newport West, I will make it even better.

A City Councillor for 20 years, I have a track record of getting things done: As Leader of the Council, I was instrumental in bringing about Friars Walk, a development that has transformed our City Centre.

Having run a successful business, I understand the challenges. Supporting existing enterprises and encouraging new ones will be a top priority, along with attracting new funding to make Newport a thriving hub of economic activity and job creation.

I would fight for the return of two hours free parking – introduced when I was council leader but scrapped by Labour. I would also oppose further Labour hikes in council tax.

Good infrastructure is key, and I believe an M4 relief road would not only reduce congestion, but also bring huge economic rewards, especially now that we have scrapped the Severn Bridge tolls. If you agree, sign my petition. .

Young people are our future, and I would be a champion for them. I am a governor at two local schools and a member of the Reserve Forces and Cadets.

During my year as Mayor of Newport, I was privileged to witness the amazing work undertaken by the voluntary sector across the City, and I will ensure these organisations get the support and recognition they truly deserve.

I am passionate about our environment. A volunteer litter picker, I want to see tougher penalties for fly tippers.

On Brexit – I voted to leave, and whilst I understand people’s frustration at the lack of clarity, I am totally opposed to a second referendum. The people of Newport have already spoken.

Outside of politics; I have been married to Tina for 26 years and have two daughters. I am a keen supporter of Newport Gwent Dragons, and keep fit at the local health club and by walking my dog.

Vote for me on April 4 and I will be The Strong Voice for Newport West.

Neil Hamilton, Ukip

South Wales Argus:

YOU, the voters in Newport West, can make history. It’s a simple choice. Vote for a lobby-fodder MP in a Labour/Tory Donkey-Derby. Or shake Westminster to its foundations by electing a UKIP MP.

The Tories and Labour don’t want to deliver on Brexit. Ninety per cent of people think Theresa May has humiliated Britain by her shambolic “negotiation” in Brussels. Our most clueless Prime Minister ever makes Britain an international laughing stock. She couldn’t deliver a pizza, let alone Brexit.

Obstinate as a mule, she clings on. You can get rid of her by voting UKIP. David Cameron gave us the Referendum only because UKIP looked set to doom Tory MPs to defeat. Electing me would make Tory MPs panic for their seats.

Jeremy Corbyn is also a national joke – the most useless Opposition Leader ever. Last week’s YouGov poll gave him an 18 per cent approval rating, with 71 per cent disapproving. Why vote Tory or Labour with these duds in charge?

Labour losing Newport to UKIP would get rid of him too. A double-whammy. It’s probably the only time in your life when your vote really counts. Make the most of it. Teach arrogant MPs a lesson they will never forget.

Newport needs Brexit to stop giving billions to the EU, control immigration, cut food & fuel bills and boost our global trade.

Fifty-two per cent of us voted Leave but 75 per cent of MPs voted Remain. That’s why Parliament is in utter chaos. It doesn’t represent the people. They told you to choose in a referendum to Leave or Remain in the EU and they promised to honour your decision. But they don’t like your decision and are now hell-bent on ignoring democracy and stopping Brexit. If you think democracy matters, use your vote for UKIP to send them a crystal-clear message.

Fifty-six per cent of Newport voted Leave. But 350 Remainer MPs think their votes trump the 17,410,742 who voted Leave. Vote UKIP and deliver Brexit.

Kick the arrogant political elite in the ballots on April 4. Make the People’s Will prevail.


Ruth Jones, Labour

South Wales Argus:

This by-election is taking place because of the death of Paul Flynn – our MP. Paul leaves a legacy that will be hard to follow.

If elected, I will take a lead from Paul’s approach to politics – independent minded and always putting Newport West first. He leaves massive boots to fill and as a friend, I will miss him.

Fundamentally, this by-election is a choice about who is best to stand up for the people, the jobs and the economy of Newport West.

I’m Newport born and bred. I spent over 30 years in the NHS as a physiotherapist - working in local hospitals, as well as specialist children and stroke units. In my current job I stand up for people treated unfairly at work. I am also a school governor – at the primary that my children attended. I know Newport and I’m determined to stand up for our city.

The Tories have inflicted a decade of cuts on our public services and driven hardworking people into poverty. As a volunteer at a night shelter scheme, I’ve seen how the Tories’ Universal Credit has pushed people out of their homes and onto the streets. I’m am determined to do all I can to end Tory austerity and get a Westminster government that treats people with compassion.

Crime is rising and it’s clear why. The Tories have slashed our local police budgets by nearly £30 million. We’ve lost over a 100 officers from our local police force. I will fight to end Tory police cuts, put more officers on the beat and lead a serious effort across the city to tackle the root causes of crime.

I’m also clear in my support for a new M4 relief road, combined with an improved public transport network to ease the flow of traffic in and around Newport. We’ve had enough talking on this – now we need action.

In this by-election, there is a clear choice – it’s me or the Tories. And we cannot risk the Tories winning in Newport West. I need your vote to stop the Tories and stand up for Newport West.

Ryan Jones, Liberal Democrats

South Wales Argus:

My name is Ryan Jones, I’m proud to be the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for the Newport West by-election on April 4.

I’m a 32-year-old businessman in Newport, I employ 30 people locally in my construction company. As an employer, one of my priorities is the economy. I’m acutely aware of the importance of a skilled workforce and passionate about creating opportunities for people of all ages to develop their skills.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for education and training. We have different destinations we’re trying to reach and need different support to reach them.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister Kirsty Williams is doing great work to ensure Welsh higher and further education provides Welsh people with the right opportunities. Unfortunately, Kirsty’s efforts are being hampered by the UK Government’s flawed Apprenticeships Levy. I urge the UK Government to scrap this Levy and replace it with a fairer and more effective system.

One of the other issues I care about most is health. My fiancé is a nurse in the NHS and we all know someone who has been cared for by the NHS. Of course, health is the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly, not Parliament. However, I know that you cannot have a successful and well-funded health service without enough funding from Westminster. I firmly support Liberal Democrat calls to put a penny on the pound in income tax to help fund the NHS and would urge the Welsh Government to spend the extra funding it receives on health and social care.

I’m running because I want to create a flourishing economy and a fair society and I know you cannot have one without the other. I want to see governments and businesses working in harmony to better our society without imposing unnecessarily on people’s lives.

I’m a proud liberal and Welsh Liberal Democrat. At a time of change and challenge for Newport, it would be easy to simply try and defend the status quo. But that is not good enough. Newport deserves better and I demand better for Newport.

Ian McLean, Social Democratic Party

South Wales Argus:

Many people have expressed their frustration with politicians and I share their view. What is the point of voting if your instructions are ignored? The referendum energised people across this country because we thought our vote would make a difference. Clearly it hasn’t. Should we take the view that it never will? I don’t think so.

Something is happening which is now unstoppable. People are much more aware of politicians’ vested interests. They see that parties dance to the tunes of big business, lobby groups and the EU while forsaking the common good of communities. And many, who have never been involved in a political party before, are joining the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to back the only party which is uniquely funded by its grassroots members.

Why the SDP? Last year our party leader published our New Declaration, capturing the imagination of many by speaking about forgotten values of Nation, Family and Community. It talked of the ability of the UK to shape its own destiny and support a Brexit which sees us leaving the Single Market, Customs Union and the European Court of Justice. The SDP believes a successful country needs both a strong private sector and public sector where we aim to invest strategically in services such as the NHS, housing and the police.

If you, like me, want change I will need your vote. I strongly support the M4 Relief Road to ease congestion and help provide jobs in the area. I want incentives for business to invest in south Wales, and Newport West in particular. As a community we need to tackle homelessness through extra hostel places and investment in services to combat addiction.

You have the power to make this happen.

Please lend me your vote on April 4 by voting Ian McLean SDP. If elected I shall work tirelessly on your behalf.

Hugh Nicklin, For Britain

South Wales Argus:

The brave Anne-Marie Waters formed For Britain to enter the Bermuda Triangle of British politics and talk common sense about taboo topics like immigration and Islam; before it becomes illegal to do so. It’s reasonable to say immigration puts pressure on housing, hospitals, schools and police services etc. Therefore we propose a five-year stop on virtually all immigration to ‘gather our thoughts’.

British people are generally generous and tolerant, with a sense of fair play. However, some cultures it now transpires read this ‘grace’ of ours as weakness and have taken advantage in great numbers. It is the responsibility of the authorities of this nation to see that the daughters of this nation are not gang raped and ruined; as it tragically transpires has been the case for a number of decades now. The evidence shows a common thread of the perpetrators have largely been adherents to Islam. We believe after ‘running the test’; Islamic ideology is not compatible with western society.

Islam pushes for in halal slaughter of animals; we in For Britain believe it is a barbaric practice and would ban it. We think that Grammar Schools worked better then comprehensives do, and should be one option in every town.

We want the police to police; to prevent what we all understand to be ‘crime’ and not monitor our thoughts and ideas. We don’t want our old soldiers who served their nation dutifully arrested and hauled off to be prosecuted for events decades ago. We want the NHS that Aneurin Bevan built, not the one impoverished by Tony Blair.

Both major parties claimed they intended to implement Brexit. By April 4 it will be clear that the majority of both those parties have no intention. Such a deception is unparalleled in British parliamentary history and the greatest misconduct in public office we’ve ever seen. You, the electors of Newport West, have a unique chance to speak for the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit, and inflict your verdict on the Tory and Labour parties for this fraud. You can do this by voting For Britain.

Richard Suchorzewski, Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

South Wales Argus:

Most of the constituents of Newport West will no doubt be surprised to see us fielding a candidate for a Westminster seat. Indeed, we ourselves were not going to stand out of respect to Paul Flynn and his family.

However, we put the question to our Facebook community - should we stand or not? Overwhelmingly our supporters felt we should stand and get our message out there to a larger audience.

We also felt that by making this election just about Brexit that it was disingenuous and indeed an insult to the constituents of Newport West, especially as the main concerns to the people we've spoken to were devolved matters that effect them on a day to day basis.

Transport, health, education, housing, economic development and job creation are all devolved to the Welsh Assembly.

The M4 relief road has cost an exorbitant £44 million without an inch of tarmac being laid.

The Welsh NHS could have employed 150+ extra nurses over 10 years for that money.

The irony is whoever is returned as MP will have no say in the matter as it is a devolved issue.

Having only one policy (which when successful would give MPs and Councillors more authority), our total attention is naturally directed to representing the people of Newport West and their needs, rather than obeying the policies already laid down by a political Party which the other candidates have to follow.

As a Party we have but a single issue - to abolish the Welsh Assembly and as such welcome votes from both Brexiteers and Remainers across the political spectrum.

The word "abolish" may sound harsh but reality is harsh and we urge you to ask yourself "what has the Welsh Assembly done for me in over 20 years"?

Many experts have claimed that we have the worst health service, worst education standards and some of the worst poverty in the United Kingdom.

We ask the people of Newport West to vote for us, The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party and send a clear message to Cardiff Bay, that they are an unnecessary drain on our resources and our country.

Phillip Taylor, Democrats and Veterans Party

South Wales Argus:

Phillip was raised in Newport and followed his father into the Army, joining 217 City of Newport Battery - Royal Artillery and served on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will stand for the people and for Direct Democracy.

Two lessons we have learnt from the Brexit vote are that representative democracy is not representing the people, and that the established parties are failing.

The Democrats & Veterans Party’s purpose is to make the UK strong and prosperous by securing commercial and personal liberty, genuine democracy. We will always stand up for local people and common sense rather than toeing the party line.

The two main parties promise ‘jam tomorrow’ and have delivered what? Higher crime, higher pollution, servitude for the low paid, social housing shortage, a failing NHS, a drugs, knives and gun epidemic on our streets, and the destruction of communities.

Labour in Wales boasts eradicating homelessness within a decade, but they have been in power for nearly a quarter of a century! Promising, but not delivering.

Let’s spend that aid money on those who need our help in the UK with:

- More social housing for the homeless, including Armed Forces veterans

- Community activity programmes

- Increased mental health service support

- Increase the state pension, no-one should be forced to choose between heating or eating

- Welfare and care systems that assist the homeless, pensioners, disabled and Armed Forces veterans

- Stop the witch-hunt persecutions of our Armed Forces veterans

Over 20 per cent youth unemployment and 38,000 people collecting food parcels in Wales is a scandal!

In Newport 30 per cent of children are living below the poverty line, yet successive governments give billions of pounds away in aid each year.

In Wales, Labour has been in-charge for over two decades – they pronounce Wales is a sanctuary for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers – yet we have homeless people and veterans sleeping on our streets!

Enough is Enough. It’s time to throw out the political elite and professional politicians and elect an ‘ordinary working-class person’ who wants to carry on serving his country.

Amelia Womack, Green

South Wales Argus:

I was born in Newport, and following attending Bassaleg School, I achieved a BSc in Environmental Biology and an MSc in Environmental Technology at university. I have worked with businesses to improve their environmental credentials and support their surrounding communities, and for the last five years, I have been Deputy Leader of the Green Party across Wales and England.

I campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union, and for a People’s Vote. I'm concerned about our economy, and I know that Newport has continuously been failed. I think that the people of Newport should have their say in their future, now that we have a better idea of what that may look like.

We need major investment in emerging Green industries that will bring job creation and improvements to quality of life. We have so much potential to build on our industrial strength and to embrace new industries such as electric vehicles, green energy, railways and recycling.

While the other candidates are arguing about which route the M4 bypass should take - I say there should be no bypass. Instead, every penny should be redirected to the community. Evidence proves that a bypass will lead to more congestion, more pollution and permanent damage to our wetlands. We need more affordable public transport, giving access to travel to the 28 per cent of people living in Newport who don’t own a vehicle.

We don't have long to fight against the damage of climate change, like flooding and poor air quality, so we need to adopt a sustainable vision for Newport that reduces our carbon emissions, secures jobs and rejuvenates our economy in a Green New Deal.

We also need investment in housing and public services. We have suffered too long from cuts that always seem to hit Newport hardest. It’s time we said that enough is enough.

I’m proud to call Newport my home. It’s a city of incredible, resilient people, a city that’s been let down by the government for far too long. That’s why Newport needs to elect a strong independent voice to represent us in Westminster.