These are the known prospective parliamentary candidates for Copeland. The Whitehaven News asked each candidate what their main priorities for the area are, what their position on Brexit is and what policy they would push for in the first 12 months of being elected. Here is what they had to say:


Trudy Harrison, 43

Main priorities: Nuclear is the pillar that holds up the socio-economic net in Copeland and I’m the strongest advocate. having worked at Sellafield and continuously raised the nuclear profile in Parliament and the UK. Small Modular Reactors are the way forward, I have worked with Rolls-Royce and our community to put forward a case for siting their reactors in Copeland. I want to see more industry, high streets and small businesses thrive. Investment in our area’s road, rail, digital connectivity and public services including health, social care and education is vital – I’ll build on a strong record of success whilst championing farming and tourism.

Brexit: Getting Brexit done and making our departure from the EU work for Copeland. Leaving with a deal that takes back control of our money, laws, borders and trade agreements – and securing those agreements swiftly. I voted to leave in the 2016 referendum. I have voted for the Withdrawal Agreement four times and I voted against removing the option of no deal.

Policy commitment: As a Government apprenticeship ambassador I want every young person to have the opportunity of a first class education with the option of a degree without debt. But to ensure the legacy of world class skills continues we must secure the businesses and industries which also pay for our public services.


Tony Lywood, 63

Main priorities: Conservative cuts have hit our area hard. Our schools and hospitals have been deprived of funding and Copeland Council’s grant has been cut by over 90 per cent. Stop privatising our local services and fund them properly.

Sellafield is the custodian of the largest plutonium stock in the world and this should be recognised, on site and to the wider community. Labour supports nuclear, the Tories failed to deliver Moorside. The Energy Coast’s slogan must be turned into reality by developing not only nuclear but wind, solar and tidal energy which will also provide good-quality manufacturing jobs for local people.

Brexit: Three years of Conservative incompetence have resulted in Johnson’s deal. This deal is a bad deal. Labour will, within three months of the election, agree a Leave Deal with the EU that protects jobs and environmental standards. Within six months the people will be able to vote for the Leave deal or vote to remain. Whatever the result, we will then work to bring this country back together again.

Policy commitment: Social care is in crisis and we need to look after our elderly with dignity. We need a properly funded national care system to work alongside the NHS and stop the creeping privatisation that makes the quality of your care dependent on how much you can pay. Every person deserves good quality local care in their old age.

Liberal Democrats

John Studholme, 76

Main priorities: I believe that sorting out Brexit by remaining in the EU is the first and vital priority for the UK and for Copeland. This will help provide the financial resources to deal with our other priorities. My social priority would be to improve health and care services, particularly for youth and for older people.

As MP for Copeland, I would seek – in consultation and partnership with government and the public authorities – to obtain much more public investment in West Cumbria, especially in our inadequate infrastructure, from all sources.

Brexit: I believe the UK should remain in the EU which has invested heavily across West Cumbria.

Since the Referendum I have led the campaign across Cumbria for a confirmatory ‘peoples vote’, whatever the details of the final deal.

If the Liberal Democrats have major influence after the election I should choose to revoke Article 50 to discontinue Brexit. This would avoid at a stroke what is likely to be several years of bitter debate about our future trading agreements with Europe and the wider world. Crucially, by staying in the EU, we will remain members of Euratom which is vital for the long-term future of Sellafield, our biggest and most important employer.

Policy commitment: not provided

Green Party

Jack Lenox, 32

Main priorities: All three top priorities for Copeland relate to the climate emergency. We need to be taking urgent action to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions while also tackling the biodiversity crisis. Firstly we need to be rapidly rolling out renewables and making good on the original promise of the Energy Coast. We also need to reduce our energy usage through retrofitting our housing stock, also helping to end fuel poverty. Finally we need to save our wildlife through tree and wildflower planting programmes, supporting farmers to reinstate hedgerows, and crucially rewilding and slowing the flow of rivers to help tackle flooding.

Brexit: I’m sick and tired of Brexit. I wish the referendum had never been called and I believe it’s a massive distraction from the real issues that face us. While our forests burn, our seas rise, and we’re in the middle of the planet’s sixth mass extinction, Brexit is apparently all we can talk about.

Policy commitment: More than 30 per cent of children in the UK live in poverty. Universal credit has not reduced poverty, increased employment or reduced reliance on food banks. It needs to be replaced with something meaningful. We propose a Universal Basic Income sufficient to cover an individual’s basic needs to replace social security.