What do students want the next Sheffield Central MP to look like?

24 February 2022

Sheffield students say what they want to see in their next MP, following Paul Blomfield’s announcement that he will not run for re-election for Sheffield Central MP in 2024,

Students said they want an approachable MP who takes swift action to issues such as student safety, rising costs, and university strikes.

Keela McCullen, 19, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Sheffield said she wants an MP who will listen to students.

“I think with the strikes recently, making sure the university is doing stuff about that, and making sure there are safe spaces for students to be.

“Another thing is making sure that everyone has equal access to educational opportunities.”

Listen more to what the students had to say:

Paul Blomfield announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reselection as Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sheffield Central in the next General Election.

Mr Blomfield has been the constituencies MP for 12 years since he replaced fellow labour MP Richard Caborn in 2010.

Sheffield is by far the largest student constituency in England.

Mr Blomfield has been active in addressing student issues throughout his 12 year term as MP for Sheffield Central.

He said: “It’s been an extraordinary privilege to represent the city that’s been my home for most of my life since arriving here at the age of nine.

“It’s been a difficult decision, but I’ll be 70 next year and for me the next election feels the right time to step down.”

He has been closely involved in scrutinising parliament’s decisions surrounding education, including challenging rises in tuition fees.

 In 2015 he was voted ‘Most inspiring leader in Higher Education’ in the Guardian’s University Awards for his work in Parliament on student and university issues.

He has also focused on student mental health, the wellbeing of international students, and careers guidance.

Mr Blomfield said he will campaign with whoever is chosen as the new labour candidate for Sheffield Central at the next election.

He said: “Labour will remain an important part of my life, as it has done for five decades.”

Mr Blomfield emphasised that he will still be working harder than ever for the constituency and the city.

Written by Erin Mansell

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