‘I want to create an aspiration-nation’: Conservative by-election candidate will fight to get people into work

By John Paul Shammas

The Conservative candidate for November’s Manchester Central by-election has revealed to MM how he plans to tackle workless households, wasting budgets and getting people into jobs.

Matthew Sephton, who stood against Hazel Blears in Salford at the 2010 general election, was announced as the Conservative candidate for the by-election last week.

Coming from a background of teaching and being the chairman of LGBTory, Mr Sephton’s most fierce competition in the race will no-doubt be Labour’s Lucy Powell, a candidate he feels Manchester will do very well to avoid electing.

He told MM: “The number of workless households increased by 200,000 under the last Labour government. The number of households where no member has ever worked more than doubled under Labour.

“I think this is a disgrace and I want Manchester to be a place where children are brought up with hope for the future and with aspirations for a better life.

“I believe that for too long Labour has taken Manchester and her people for granted. Nationally, Labour left us spending £120million every day just paying the interest on the debt and that bill is getting bigger.

“Locally, the Labour-run Manchester City Council is also guilty of wasting huge amounts of money, with a chief executive on a pay packet of nearly £100,000 more than the Prime Minister and mobile phone spending of £736,388 in one year. Labour waste has to stop.”

The Conservative candidate was eager to express his fears of the knock-on effects of Labour spending.

“I am on the side of people who work hard and want to get on in life,” he added. “I want to create an aspiration-nation, a country that rewards effort and where work pays.

“All these things will benefit the people of Manchester Central and ensure a good future for them and their families.

“But it’s also about a culture. We need to get away from a something for nothing culture and move to a hard work pays, aspirational culture, and this is something which will benefit the people and city of Manchester greatly.”

With a history of being a strong campaigner for LGBT rights, Mr Sephton will be hoping to attract attention from Manchester’s strong LGBT community.

However, he is keen to emphasise that he is a candidate for everyone.

“I am a candidate for all sections of Manchester – no matter what their background, faith, sexuality or race happens to be,” he said. “I aim to work with all people, in their diversity, to bring about a better future for all and to get Britain on the rise once more.

“In Manchester Central, this will be a contest between another Ed Miliband candidate and a positive change with the Conservatives who offer a real vision for Manchester and for our country.”

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