Sean Woodcock to stand for Labour at the General Election


“It’s a real privilege” says the man who puts the Horton General Hospital at the top of his priorities

Banbury and North Oxfordshire Labour have chosen the person who will stand as their candidate at the next General Election.

Sean Woodcock, who’s currently the leader of the Labour group at Cherwell District Council, was selected following a vote at the end of hustings held last night.

Talking to Banbury FM following the announcement Sean said: “It’s a real privilege.  As a local Banbury lad, there’s no greater honour than to have the opportunity to become the Member of Parliament for the area that I grew up in.”

The Banbury constituency has traditionally voted Conservative, but Sean believes the new parliamentary boundary – bringing Banbury, Chipping Norton and the surrounding villages into a new area – and Labour’s new proposition, offer them a real chance to take control.

“The seat is very much winnable.  Victoria Prentis has enjoyed a considerable majority with the previous Banbury and Bicester seat, which is no longer the case.   I felt I was the best person to challenge her and give Labour the opportunity of winning it for the first time in our history.”

Having represented wards in Banbury at all levels of local government, Sean says he intends to work hard speaking to people in the villages where the Tory vote has traditionally been strong.

“There is a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the performance of the Conservatives generally, but particularly in rural areas.   The failings in terms of providing infrastructure, the disintegration of local services, pubs disappearing, local shops disappearing, issues in local schools, and problems of affordable housing in those areas.   A lot of farmers feel the Brexit deal that we’re signed up to has, frankly, shafted them.

“I think there is space for an alternative to the traditional Tory candidate dominating the villages and rural areas.   I intend in the next weeks and months to work hard talking to them and trying to convince them to reconsider and look at Labour.”

On his priorities Sean says that the cost of living is raised on the doorstep all the time.   The climate emergency and housing crisis are also key subjects, but the Horton General Hospital was his number one priority.

“I was born there.   The NHS saved my life – I had heart surgery at the age of four.   I’ll always value the NHS and want to make sure there’s a Horton Hospital to serve the people of Banbury and beyond.

“The fact that it’s been allowed to be downgraded by Victoria Prentis – the fact that we’ve not been given the money from government to expand and upgrade our hospital on her watch is a denegration of duty on her part.”

Having served on Cherwell District Council since 2012, Sean understands the cut and thrust of politics and says he has grown a thick skin.   Having been persuaded to put his name forward he beat three other candidates to receive the most support from his fellow party members.

“It’s a privilege to be chosen and I’m ready to work very, very hard for it.

“There’s a real opportunity for change in Banbury; there’s an opportunity for change in the country.   I want to seize on it and go forward.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. Mark Chivers   On   01/12/2023 at 5:10 pm

    Given he was the one who put the Tories back in power at Cherwell District Council, can people actually trust him. He first of all said that he was the one who decided to withdraw from the Working Arrangement of Greens, Labour, and LDs (like OCC had until recently) but then he said that the Labour NEC (ie HQ) said to do this. Plus he’s a member of the Labour and Co-operative Party, rather than Labour, a very technical difference but that’s why he’s referred to as “the Labour Group Leader” and not just “The Labour leader” – so he could have rejected that instruction if it was the NEC who said to withdraw.
    I agree with his criticism of Victoria Prentis and the impact of Tory policies, eg on the Horton. However if you look at the statements from Keir Starmer he’s not promised to reverse most of it. Two party politics is tired and divisive, we need new blood, new thinking, new policies, and a new MP.

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