THE first man to win a council seat in the east of Witney for Labour has been picked as his party’s candidate to face David Cameron in the 2015 general election.
Father-of-two Duncan Enright, 49, will be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Witney constituency at the 2015 poll, and will be hoping recent good fortune for Labour in the area will be on his side.
He won the Witney East district council seat in 2012, the first time a candidate from his party had ever won in the ward. In january 2011 he had won a town council seat in a by-election.
Then in May this year, Laura Price won the county seat of Witney South and Central.
Mr Enright, who runs his own publishing company and leads the Labour group on West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I am proud of West Oxfordshire where I have lived most of my adult life, and would love to represent my neighbours in Parliament.
“I believe local people deserve an MP from their own community.
“I have campaigned successfully against local Conservatives to make Witney a Fairtrade town, to stop wasteful, useless schemes like Witney's Cogges Link Road, and to invest in local jobs so fewer people have to commute miles from our district.
“I believe power in our democracy rests with every one of us.
“Decisions should be made by individuals and local communities as far as possible, for a bottom-up not top-down approach to Government If elected I will work for equality and justice for all, not just the privileged few.”
Mr Cameron has held the Witney seat since 2001, when he won it with a majority of 7,973 after Shaun Woodward’s controversial defection to Labour, In 1992, 1997 and 2001, Labour came in second place, with previous contenders including James Plaskitt, who went on to be the MP for Warwick and Leamington for 13 years, and former Oxford City Council leader Alex Hollings-worth.
But in 2005 and 2010 the Liberal Democrats overtook Labour, coming in second.
By 2010, Mr Cameron’s majority was more than 22,000, and as such the seat is considered safe.
But Barry Norton, the leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and Mr Cameron’s election agent, said his campaign would not be complacent.
West Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats spokesman Liz Leffman – who stood as her party’s candidate in 2005 – said: “We have not selected our candidate yet and probably won’t do so for a few months.”