Labour confirms hunt for new Mansfield mayor candidate

Paul Bradshaw
Paul Bradshaw

Labour Party leaders have confirmed they will now be looking for a new mayoral candidate for Mansfield after an internal row led to the selected candidate stepping down.

Paul Bradshaw was selected as the mayoral candidate in elections in May 2019. A lifelong campaigner and trade unionist, he has previously held responsibilities for housing, refuse collection, street cleaning and park maintenance. He said he hoped to use this knowledge and experience to improve Mansfield as its Mayor.

Sonya Ward

Sonya Ward

But in a letter sent to party members, he has now stepped down from the campaign, over issues with Labour Group Leader and parliamentary candidate Sonya Ward appearing in his campaign literature.

In the letter, seen by your Chad, he wrote: "Despite the fact that it had been agreed that the Council and Mayoral campaign should take precedence, some members of the Committee pressed on with the demand that Sonya be featured on literature, knowing that this would leave me no alternative but to withdraw.

"Those who have known me the longest should have known that I am a man of my word so it is a matter of deep regret to me that those that should have known better have tried to unpick that which was agreed and test my mettle.

"My aim was to fight the Independents and Conservatives but I never dreamt that I would face my greatest battle from my own local Party members."

In a subsequent issued by Mr Bradshaw, he said: "My main focus was to become Mayor and work with Councillors for the benefit of the area.

Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences between myself and the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Sonya Ward have put me in an impossible position and left me with no alternative but to resign."

Councillor Ward has been approached for comment.

Speaking about the decision, an East Midlands Labour Party spokesperson said: “Paul Bradshaw has taken the personal decision to stand down as Labour’s candidate in the upcoming Mayoral election in Mansfield.

“The Mansfield Labour Party will select in a new candidate in due course.”