Former councillor Chris Furlong to run for MP of Heywood and Middleton as an independent

Date published: 11 March 2023

Former councillor Chris Furlong has announced that he will be running as an independent candidate for Heywood and Middleton for the next general election.

The next UK general election – which will see people vote for their MP and government – is scheduled to be held no later than 28 January 2025.

Mr Furlong was a Labour councillor for North Middleton ward between 2014 and 2018, but was not re-selected to stand in the May 2018 local election.

Local residents spoke of their disappointment at the time, citing Chris as “one of the best councillors Middleton has seen for a long time” for his community efforts.

Chris resigned from the Labour party on 5 March 2023, as “the two main parties are now offering the same old same old for us to elect at the next General Election.”

He has now revealed he will be standing as an independent in what will be known as the 'Heywood County' constituency, as the constituency boundaries are changing at the next general election. The changes will mean the renamed constituency will be made up of the three Heywood wards, the West and North Middleton wards, Castleton, Norden, Bamford and Spotland and Falinge wards. South Middleton and East Middleton will be hived off to a new ‘Manchester Blackley’ constituency.

Mr Furlong previously threw his hat into the ring in 2017, to stand as the Labour candidate in Rochdale to replace Simon Danczuk.

The former Greater Manchester Mayor, Tony Lloyd, was selected as Labour’s candidate instead, and has remained MP for Rochdale ever since after winning two general elections.


Chris Furlong
Chris Furlong


In a statement released today (Saturday 11 March), Mr Furlong said: “Since the last General Election, as family and those friendly with me on social media will know, I have been inundated with requests from people in our community asking me to stand for MP at the next General Election.

“Despite posting numerous times that I currently wasn’t interested in standing, the number of people asking me to stand has increased, as the General Election gets nearer.

“I have always politely batted the requests away as I have been extremely busy with my job and my charity/volunteer work and also my trust in party politics is now virtually non-existent.

“Those requests to stand have come from people with views right across the political spectrum and from all parts of the constituency; people who are fed up with how politics are being run both locally and nationally, seeing that the responsibility given to most politicians is being used to further their career rather than used to represent the area they have been elected for, disgusted to see how party politics has seen our area being left behind, underfunded and forgotten about.

“Sadly, the two main parties are now offering the same old same old for us to elect at the next General Election. Two people, who between them have managed to pocket hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxpayer-funded wages and allowances and who most people here would struggle to find a single positive thing they have done for us, or even recognise. Two candidates who see us as just an easy stepping stone of getting themselves into Parliament.

“So, after several long conversations with my family and friends, seeing the response on here and reading the hundreds of requests and messages by residents, I have decided to stand as an independent at the next General Election.

“We will run a positive, community-led campaign and the team will be made up of local people like you and me who want the best for us. If you want real change and want to make a positive difference please sign up to help the campaign, details of how you can help will appear on my Facebook page, Vote for Chris Furlong for Heywood County, in the next few hours. Join us and you can help us get the better representation in the Commons we desperately need and deserve in this current economic climate.

“You can help make sure our voice is heard in Parliament. Together, at the next General Election, rather than voting to advance a politician's career, we can now vote for someone who will put our community first.

“The campaign starts now.”

Chris is the chair of the Back O’Th Moss community centre, volunteers for several local causes, including Army of Kindness, and has raised funds for both Middleton and Heywood Foodbanks over the years.

He and his wife Kerrie also carry out deliveries for those in need as 'Helping Hand', and last year he was chosen as a bearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay.


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