General Election 2010: William Hague visits locals in Holmfirth
Apr 19 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Hague visits locals in Holmfirth
FORMER Tory leader William Hague was met with a warm reception when he went on the campaign trail in Holmfirth.
Locals welcomed the shadow foreign secretary when he visited the town on Saturday.
And businesses were keen to quiz him on how his party would help them should it win the election.
Mr Hague caused quite a stir as he took a walk around the town, accompanied by Conservative Colne Valley parliamentary candidate Jason McCartney.
Some passers by stopped to shake Mr Hague’s hand and wish the party good luck for May 6.
Artist Ashley Jackson gave him a brief tour of his Huddersfield Road gallery.
He said: “I met William Hague last year when he presented me with the Yorkshireman of the Year award and found him to be a very good orator.
“He came in and said hello and was telling me how amazed he was to see the gallery.
“I gave him my business card which made him laugh. It says ‘established 1962, no government funding but funding the government’.
“It was nice to see him coming round and meeting the locals. Holmfirth is on the fringe so they’re having pay attention to us!”
Mr Hague also visited staff at Longley’s Coffee Shop and Greg Christofi, who owns the Old Bridge Bakery.
Mr Christofi, who is president of the Holme Valley Business Association, said he was particularly interested to see how local businesses would by helped under a Tory government.
He said: “He made an impression on me, I found him to be a very nice warm person.
“He seemed genuinely interested in seeing how local businesses like mine were doing and talked about his party’s plans to help if they win the election.
“I spoke to him about rates going up in the Holme Valley and how a lot of businesses are struggling.
“He said his party would cut tax which will help give businesses the chance to recuperate.”
“I employ 17 staff and think policies like these would really help and encourage new businesses to come to the town.”
After his tour of the town Mr Hague took part in some door to door canvassing in New Mill before going to visit the Dewsbury constituency.
Mr McCartney said he received a warm welcome to the town.
He said: “He’s a Yorkshireman himself and very well aware of rural economies.
“The Colne Valley is our top target seat in West Yorkshire and we have been getting a fantastic response, everybody’s ready for change.
“People were keen to hear about our plans to freeze council tax for two years and not bring in the rise in National Insurance.
“It’s important to support local businesses and keep local jobs.”