Should a ‘Hands Off HRI’ campaigner stand for Parliament?
That’s the question being asked by members of the group after Prime Minister Theresa May’s surprise General Election announcement last week.
The debate was sparked on the group’s 43,000 strong Let’s Save Huddersfield A&E Facebook page.
Some said putting forward a candidate would be a huge opportunity to publicise the campaign.
Mr Deitch – who is credited with launching the biggest campaign in Huddersfield in recent memory – told the Examiner he was undecided about putting his hand up to take on Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman or the Colne Valley’s Jason McCartney.
The Golcar-based security system contractor has been determined to keep the campaign free of party politics.
He said: “The unexpected announcement of an early General Election has presented Hands Off HRI with an opportunity that had not previously been considered.
Should Karl Deitch stand for Parliament?
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“While it has never been part of Hands Off HRI strategy to field a candidate in any election, as we still are a pan-political campaign, the idea of fielding a candidate for the single issue of saving HRI is an interesting proposal, and one we may explore further.”
Some members of the group agreed that the forthcoming election is an invaluable chance to raise the profile of the fight to save the infirmary from demolition.
But others have said that standing a candidate would only detract from other MPs who are trying to help prevent Huddersfield losing its A&E and hospital.
Anyone who stands in a General Election must pay a £500 deposit.
Those who do not receive 5% of the constituency vote lose their money.
The tradition is designed to dissuade fatuous candidates but nevertheless the UK has a long history of frivolous or protest candidates who have no prospect of getting their money back – most famously the Monster Raving Looney Party.
In the 2015 General Election, prominent health campaigner, Mike Forster, stood for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Huddersfield.
He came last with only 340 votes but did not lose his deposit.
Five years earlier, GP Jackie Grunsall also stood for the TUSC, this time in the Colne Valley.
She also finished last with just 741 votes.
In 2010, Leeds United mad Huddersfield based Martin Bland, tried to stand in Leeds Central as “We Beat the Scum One Nil” following the Leeds club’s unlikely FA Cup victory over Manchester United.
Unfortunately for him he missed the deadline for entry and so changed his name by deed poll instead.