After leaving it almost until the last minute, the Conservative Party have announced their candidate for November’s Manchester Central by-election.
Matthew Sephton, who has worked as a primary school teacher and is chairman of LGBTory, has been chosen by the Tories to challenge Labour’s Lucy Powell and the Liberal Democrat candidate Marc Ramsbottom in the upcoming by-election.
Having previously contested Hazel Blears for Salford and Eccles in 2010, taking 20.5% of the vote, Mr Sephton will be looking to captivate Manchester’s vibrant LGBT community, having been vocal on the issue of gay rights consistently.
Taking to Twitter this morning, he said: “Getting Britain and Manchester on the up will be achieved by paying off deficit, taking tough decisions, firing growth, backing aspiration.”
Ms Powell, Labour’s candidate for Manchester Central, recently tweeted on October 7 that the Tories were ‘laughable’ for not having yet put a candidate forward.
Manchester University’s LGBT Society told MM that the selection of Matthew Sephton is a ‘positive move’.
A spokesperson said: “He has pushed very hard for LGBT rights both within the Conservative Party, and outside of it, and deserves credit for this.
“To have a gay candidate is always positive, and I think they deserve more credit than to have it labelled as a cheap, phoney ploy which all would see through.”
MM understands that Respect, who pulled off the ‘Bradford Spring’ earlier this year, will be announcing their candidate imminently.
The Manchester Central by-election will be held on November 15.