Kettering's longest serving local politician fights to become MP

Kettering’s longest-serving local politician has announced his bid to become the town’s MP.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:48 pm
Jim Hakewill (left) with former planning minister Nick Boles (centre) and Philip Hollobone (right) in Broughton in 2013.

Former Kettering Council leader and serving borough and county councillor Jim Hakewill has decided to take on the battle to replace Philip Hollobone who has been representing the Kettering borough and surrounding towns for the past fourteen years.

The well-known figure was a member of the Conservative party until a fall-out last year and will be standing as an independent.

He has been a member of Kettering council since 1985 and this is the first time he will be going for election to parliament for Kettering, despite two unsuccessful attempts to be selected as the Conservative candidate in the past.

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He said a desire to ‘put up, rather than shut up’ had led to his decision to put himself forward for election and try and unseat his former political colleague.

“I have been quite critical over the current political leaders in the county and I took the adage ‘put up, or shut up’ and so I’m putting up.

“I have certainly got a long history of being elected in the constituency. From Braybrooke Parish Council in 1985, to the borough council in 1987, all the way to the current day and I would like to give local people the opportunity to vote for someone who was born and bred in the area.

“I have always found it easy to work across political boundaries and my view is that the policies I will propose might find support by any of the other parties. Because essentially it is Kettering and its towns and villages first and Westminster second.

“I think there is a significant majority of moderate thinking people who will find my policies for Kettering more desirable than moving out to the extremes.”

Policies on his list would be more support for the public services such as local government, health and the police force. More infrastructure for the town and addressing climate change will be high on his agenda of elected.

On the Brexit agenda that will no doubt be dominating the next Parliament he said: “It would be ridiculous to ignore Brexit. I recognise that people are very fixed on either leave or remain. “My view would be if I were elected to understand exactly all the agreements and relay them back to the constituency to and make sure we are doing the right thing for the majority of people and businesses that we would be representing.”

Taking a swipe at Philip Hollobone’s dual role as Kettering councillor and the former mayor said if he wins the election he will stand down from his councillor roles because he does not think a standing MP can adequately scrutinise the council’s actions if they are also a member of the council.

The Braybrooke resident, will line up in the election against Mr Hollobone, who is vying for his fifth election win, alongside Labour candidate Claire Pavitt, Liberal Democrat Chris Nelson and Green Party hopeful Jamie Wildman.

At the last election Brexiter Philip Hollobone won with a majority of 10,562 over second-placed labour candidate Mick Scrimshaw.

A hustings is being held on Tuesday, November 26th at the R-Inn in Station Road, Desborough from 7pm to 9pm.