Widow of MP Harry Harpham and teenager amongst candidates battling for Sheffield seat

Councillor Gill Furniss
Councillor Gill Furniss


by Donna Ding


The widow of Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Harry Harpham has vowed to carry on her husband’s work.

Mr Harpham died on February 4 after a battle with cancer and a by-election will be held next month.

Councillor Gill Furniss said: “It never crossed my mind I would be doing this, but after a very short parliamentary career my husband passed away. I have been approached by quite a few people and thought about it a lot. My kids said I had to do it, and that sealed it.”

And teenager Solomon Curtis, 19, who was seeking to be the youngest ever MP in Parliament last year, is also fighting to represent Labour.

Solomon Curtis
Solomon Curtis

He said : “I want to the next generation do better than the last, providing opportunities for people’s children, grand children and great grand children”

Several other labour candidates are also vying to be selected to represent Labour in the by-election.

Mike Buckley, who used to work with charities in Africa and the Middle East for health and education, said he would work with other MPs and councillor to fight for the budget in this area if elected.

“I think it’s very clear that the government is favouring conservative areas and the wealthy people in society. It’s harming the poor people. Britain is the fifth richest country in the world and I think it’s entirely unjustifiable to let old people die because of lack of money.

“We are going to work with the council and local charities and voluntary sectors to gain protection for old people to help them their homes be insulated and make sure that they have everything that they need.”

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Junior doctor Stephen Hitchin, another Labour candidate, wants to fight for a safer NHS for patients.

Oliver Coppard, who strongly challenged former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in Hallam ward in General elections last year, was the first confirmed candidate.

He said: ‘I want Brightside and Hillsborough to be a more prosperous and safer place to live. I’ll fight for more opportunities for the next generation, with better jobs and more investment in our community and the essential services that we all rely on.’

The internal applications closed yesterday (Wednesday, 24th Feb.)

Local members will select their candidate on the evening of Wednesday 2nd March.


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