A businessman has promised to put up the £500 deposit so a Hands Off HRI campaigner can stand against the town’s 76-year-old Labour MP Barry Sheerman.
Paul Wood, the 46-year-old general manager of The Keys restaurant based in the crypt of Huddersfield Parish Church, said his motivation for putting up the money had grown after he almost died last year.
His interest was sharpened by the debate sparked on the group’s 43,000 strong Let’s Save Huddersfield A&E Facebook page with followers hoping that putting forward an Independent candidate would be a huge opportunity to publicise the campaign.
Anyone who stands in a General Election must pay a £500 deposit so Mr Wood offered to stump up the money.
And although members have been urging the movement’s founder Karl Deitch, to stand, it looks increasingly likely that it will be marathon runner Sean Doyle from Brockholes who will be the campaign’s candidate.
Mr Wood said it was important that the issue of Huddersfield’s A&E department potential closure with such facilities being transferred to Calderdale Royal Hospital was given the biggest public airing possible.
He said: “My motivation is from personal experience. I suffered heart failure in April last year and nearly died. This is my way of paying back the doctors and nurses who saved my life.
“They carried me out of the doctor’s surgery in Slaithwaite with my trousers round my ankles, it wasn’t very dignified and I was a week in hospital.
“They had to stop and reset my heart. It was doing 220 beats per minute when it should be 70. So I have a very personal interest in this matter.
“And I don’t think Barry’s basic motivation to serve yet another term that he wants to be Father of the House of Commons and to have been a member there longer than Dennis Skinner has been is a good one. He is a time-serving politician.
“It’s a critical situation and I think it’s important that someone is put up to highlight what is happening regarding the proposed closure of A&E facilities at Huddersfield.”
Mr Doyle, who also almost lost his life back in May 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest as he lined up on the start line of Huddersfield Parkrun at Greenhead Park, said: “I’m up for it. This is obviously a very personal matter for me.
“Karl and I have discussed it. I felt a bit nervy at first, it’s a serious commitment but I am going to do it as long as I am endorsed by the Hands Off HRI committee tomorrow night (Thurs).”
The water treatment chemist, who is married with two children, added: “It’s really important that we do this. I would not go up against Jason McCartney, (Colne Valley Conservative MP), I think Barry is an easier target.”
Mr Sheerman was elected to the House of Commons in 1979 – the same year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister.