Joe Cooke selected as Labour’s candidate for Castle Point in next year’s General Election

Joe Cooke (third from left) with supporters

Joe Cooke (third from left) with supporters

On March 22nd Joe Cooke was selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Castle Point, selected to contest next year’s General Election. He succeeds me – I stood in Castle point in the 2010 General Election.

I first met Joe at the 2004 annual conference in Brighton. We immediately struck a friendship, and a decade later we are still friends. Joe was a great help in my 2010 campaign, and I worked very closely with him.

Joe moved to Thundersley with his wife in 1970, after graduating in Electronics with Ford. A retired Senior Systems Analyst, he was also a Staff Union Representative and still chairs the Dunton Unite trade union branch. He is a Public Governor of Southend Hospital Trust and a Trustee of Castle Point Citizens Advice Bureau. His two daughters and four grandchildren; all live locally.

The constituency was won by Labour in 1997 and narrowly lost in 2001. Labour will be looking to recapture the support it had, with its fairer policies for these austere times.

A founder member of Castle Point Council, Joe has previously represented St Georges Ward for a total of eleven years, and was chair of Health and Environment. He will now take on Conservative incumbent Rebecca Harris who will be defending a majority of 7,632.

Commenting on his selection, Joe said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the local Labour Party has chosen me to take the fight to the Tories in Castle Point next year. The current Conservative MP, Rebecca Harris, has voted for policies that have really hit local people hard and left residents here worse off. Only Labour can stand up for our communities. Labour would protect our NHS from creeping privatisation, abolish the cruel and unjust Bedroom Tax, freeze energy bills until 2017 and guarantee a job for anyone in Castle Point who has been out of work for more than two years. If elected, I will be a strong voice for Castle Point and seek to undo the damage done by this Tory-led Government.

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