More candidates aim to stand in Sheffield parliamentary by-election

Vote Elmo
Activist Bobby Smith has announced he will be seeking selection in the Hillsborough and Brightside by-election

An activist and a Telford councillor have both announced plans to stand in a by-election following the death of Sheffield MP Harry Harpham.

The seat is vacant following Mr Harpham’s death from cancer and a by-election for the Hillsborough and Brightside ward is likely to be held next month.

Hadley & Leegomery councillor Usman Ahmed will put himself forward as a Labour candidate when application open on Thursday for the Hillsborough and Brightside ward.

The 23-year-old said he has family links to the city and ‘wants to see a better future for the people of Sheffield’.

He said: “I want to carry on the good work of Harry Harpham and David Blunkett.

“I will fight for the NHS and for living improvements.

“I want fair funding for a northern powerhouse. Everyone deserves a decent standard of living conditions. We don’t need to live in poverty.”

He added he will also help in campaigns close to the hearts of Sheffielders such as the fight to save roadside trees.

Mr Ahmed said: “I will take part in community campaigns and will work with people on what matters to them.”

Bobby Smith, who is a fathers’ rights activist, has announced he is also seeking selection – and will be dressed as Sesame Street character Elmo.

Mr Smith is the founder and leader of the Give Me Back Elmo party which he set up to seek to reform family courts.

He dressed as Elmo when he stood against David Cameron in the Prime Minister’s constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire, in the general election.

The 33-year-old scaled the roof of a building at Buckingham Palace in a protest over fathers’ rights last November.

He said he will be running for MP to raise awareness for his campaign.

He said: “I formed the Give Me Back Elmo party last year to fight for change in family courts. It’s obvious I can’t win but I want to let fathers know there is hope and you can fight back and finally get change.

“I got 37 votes in the election last time so it will be nice to get a few more and have more people listen to what I’ve got to say.”

The widow of Mr Harpham is one of several candidates who have put their names forward to replace him.

Gill Furniss has announced her intention to stand for selection as Labour candidate.

Charity campaigner Mike Buckley has also put his name forward alongside Oliver Coppard who took on then Nick Clegg at last year’s general election in Sheffield Hallam.

Junior doctor Stephen Hitchin has also announced he will be running and Solomon Curtis is also hoping to be selected.

Mr Curtis was Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the 2015 election for Wealden, East Sussex, and represented Jeremy Corbyn in hustings across the South East.

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