We've had Peter Bedford for the Tories, and Chris Kealey for Labour.
Now it's the turn of Michael Mullaney, Lib Dem County Councillor for the Hinckley De Montfort ward, and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Bosworth in the 2010, 2015 and 2017 general elections.
by Michael Mullaney
On Friday May 5th I was at Hinckley Leisure centre with my Lib Dem colleagues waiting for the results of the County Council elections. I was standing in the Hinckley De Montfort seat, a marginal the Conservatives were aiming to win. The Conservative candidate was a high-profile President of the Chamber of Trade.
In the end I was elected with a majority of over 500, a better result than I had hoped for. It was also great to see my Lib Dem colleagues David Bill and Stuart Bray re-elected. Best of all was seeing the extremely hard-working local campaigner Bill Crooks gaining the Mallory seat.
Campaigning as anything other than a Conservative in Bosworth is never easy, but given my background I've never treated anything in life as easy.
As the son of a factory worker/caravan maker, as someone whose school was a comprehensive and in whose family nobody before me had stayed at school beyond 16, let alone gone to University, I realise everything in life has to be hard-earned.
Our parliament urgently needs to be more diverse, and MPs more representative by gender/race/sexuality. Another key way it needs to be diverse though is in the social background of MPs. We need more MPs who come from low-income backgrounds who understand, because they've experienced it, how difficult life still is for far too many people who are struggling in this country.
Equal opportunities and social mobility are things I am passionate about, but they are not enough. There are many people who need extra help and support due to disability, infirmity and mental ill health (The latter an area that has been sadly neglected for years but thanks to people like Norman Lamb MP an issue beginning to get the attention it deserves.) I was particularly disappointed that earlier this year the Conservative government, supported by our MP, backed cutting £30 a week from the Employment support allowance, something that would hit many disabled people hard here in Hinckley and Bosworth and the rest of the country.
Over the 9 years I've been the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate I've campaigned all year round not just for a few months before election time. In that time I've worked with fellow Lib Dems and local residents on many local issues. Including successfully campaigning to save Hinckley's Ambulance station when it was threatened with closure.
Campaigning to save Hinckley's second Fire engine when it was threatened with being removed. Working with residents to try and save threatened village Libraries in places like Barwell and Desford. And campaigning to save local nature features such as the "Big Pit" in Hinckley from unsuitable development.
More broadly what motivates me to campaign is liberal philosophy and the belief that a liberal society will improve life for every individual. A belief that every individual should have as much control over their own lives as possible and that we should prevent situations where some organisations/people hold too much control over other people's lives
So the state is needed to provide quality education and other services to give people opportunity in life, but the state should not grow to be too powerful over the individual. So authoritarian measures such as ID cards should be resisted. The state should hold accountable through the criminal justice system those individuals who exert oppressive power over others by committing crimes against them. This means properly funding the police to be able to do this. A liberal society also means insuring employers do not have too much power over their employees, hence the need for workers rights, Minimum and Living wages, holiday leave, Maternity and Paternity pay.
Liberalism differs to other beliefs, such as socialism/communism/fascism, in that there is no grand scheme or blueprint for society. The core of liberalism to me is that a constant balancing act needs to take place within society to ensure that opportunity is maximised for all, that oppression is minimised, that power is spread widely and every individual has as much control as possible over their own lives.
I've stood three times in Bosworth, in 2010, 2015 and 2017 I've not been elected but it still seems worth it. On all three occasions I was honoured to have received the highest Lib Dem vote of any candidate in the whole East Midlands region. (Previously Bosworth had been "mid-table" for Lib Dem votes in the East Midlands). At this election the 9,744 votes we got in Bosworth was the highest Lib Dem vote in any of the 105 constituencies in the entire Midlands, East and West.
As well as being the most winnable Lib Dem seat in the East Midlands, Bosworth is also the 50th most winnable seat for the Lib Dems in Britain. Meaning that if the Lib Dems return to the number of seats we won in the 4 general elections between 1997 and 2010 (or hopefully even better) Bosworth will have a very good chance of electing a Lib Dem MP.
I will continue to campaign and fight for local residents here in Hinckley and Bosworth. It's great to be part of a strong Lib Dem team locally. On both Leicestershire County Council and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough the Lib Dems are by far the biggest opposition groups challenging the decisions of the Tory run councils. After a year of election surprises. The Brexit vote in the referendum, Trump becoming US President, the liberal Macron coming from nowhere to win a landslide in the French elections, who knows what the future holds. Whatever happens I shall continue to campaign here in Hinckley and Bosworth for local residents.