Rochdale by-election: Lib Dem candidate Iain Donaldson launches campaign

Date published: 02 February 2024

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Iain Donaldson has launched his campaign in Rochdale, promising to "hold this disastrous Conservative government to account" for their 'failings on the NHS', the cost of living crisis, and water companies polluting the rivers with filthy sewage.

At a local level, he has promised to protect Rochdale’s rivers from sewage dumping, and declare a climate emergency in the borough. He will also look to build on local leader Councillor Andy Kelly's campaigning about the Israel-Gaza conflict and reducing pollution and protecting the natural environment.

Iain, who was a councillor in Manchester for 19 years, has received the endorsement of Paul Rowen, the former Lib Dem MP for Rochdale between 2005 and 2010, who has said Iain would be a “fresh start” for Rochdale.

The retired University of Manchester administrator and former councillor has also pledged to campaign on the Conservative Party's failings on local health services and the cost of living crisis, as well as protecting pollution and the natural environment.

In opposition to Labour, the Liberal Democrats will also call for a proportional representation voting system [where seats correspond with the proportion of the total votes cast for each party], and an immediate bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Iain Donaldson said: “The people of Rochdale have been hammered by the double whammy of a cost of living crisis and an NHS on its knees. This disastrous Conservative government has utterly failed our area and they need to be held to account.

“Locally, Labour have also taken people for granted because they just don’t listen. I'll be a strong voice for Rochdale, listening to local people and getting real action for them.

“It is vital that the people of Rochdale are represented with a voice that will take our community's issues right to the heart of Parliament and force ministers to address their concerns. That is what my campaign will be focused on as I fight for every vote.”

Former MP Mr Rowen said: “I’m delighted that Iain, an experienced local campaigner, has been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Rochdale.

“After years of a failed Conservative government Rochdale needs a fresh start. Iain with his energy and  experience will give us that.”

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