Leeds West

Leeds West is located in West Yorkshire towards the north of England. It was created in 1885 and has been held by Labour since 1987.

The current member of parliament is the Labour party’s Rachel Reeves, who has served since 2010.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Leeds West

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.


Ben Mayor

Ben, 23, has been a committed campaigner on issues around housing and youth unemployment. He is a supporter of the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign, and has been involved in campaigns to recruit young workers to trade unions and improve pay and working conditions for workers on zero-hour and other short-hour contracts.
Ben has worked in various factory jobs, although currently is a part-time support worker and is training at university to be a social worker.
Ben is standing on the principle of being a working class MP on a Worker’s Wage and will take 1/3 of the current MP’s salary himself and donated the rest of his salary to help local community, trade union and campaigning groups.
1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
As a working class candidate that has pledged to only take the average wage in West Leeds I will do just that (we’ve calculated it to be £23,000 a year). I plan to continue to live on the average wages that us, the majority have to live on. This will ensure that I continue to understand what it is like to struggle as wages stay still and prices continue to rise. In this sense, I will fight alongside people in West Leeds for better wages, housing and to defend benefits.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
As a young worker and student I understand the troubles that are being faced by ordinary people. I aim to represent ordinary working people. Being part of TUSC we are boldly against the cuts to public services and fight alongside people for better quality housing and improved wages and conditions at work. We are lobbying the council to build more council houses and to cap rents completely. It would surely be refreshing to have someone in West Leeds who has worked in factories, as a gardener and a support worker as opposed to a banker! Which is just business as usual.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Nothing as far as I’m aware. One of my supporters went to a meeting she organised about library cutbacks which turned out to be a platform for the Labour councillors in the area to say that nothing could be done about it.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Absolutely not. Not for the vast majority of us. Austerity is working for the rich, and that’s precisely the point. TUSC does not believe that we need to implement austerity. There is over £800bn sat in the bank accounts of the major corporations in this country. We could use this money to fund public services, create jobs and build homes for people. Furthermore, £120bn a year is evaded and avoided in tax by major companies of this country. MP’s choose to give themselves and 11% pay rise. It is clear that it is business as usual for the 1% in society and austerity for the rest of us. We dont believe in this. We would reclaim this money, by nationalising the banks under democratic control as well as all the major industries such as water and rail. To ensure that these huge resources could be used to benefit the vast majority of people and not just the 1%. The very fact that the numbers of those working on zero-hour contracts and the numbers using food banks has increased significantly is a damming indictment of this government.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
It is a terrible sign of or society worldwide that people are forced to travel across the world simply to look for work, housing and security to raise a family. All those who make their way to our country should be supported with full legal rights. It is important to point out that the majority of people who come to the UK work in low waged sectors of the economy. The main parties talk about being ‘tough’ on immigration but inadvertently promote it as it is an effective way to drive down wages. The only way to stop the race to the bottom in wages is to fight alongside each other as working class people to demand a decent standard of living, good jobs, good wages and good housing. The money exists in society to ensure this for everybody in our society.
6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
By having wages indexed to prices, through legislation or unions fighting for it. Some council workers haven’t had pay rise in 10 years while the cost of living has soared. The cost of energy can be brought under control by renationalising the energy companies, introducing price controls and investing in cleaner, greener and more efficient electricity generation methods. Rent controls are an urgent necessity with private landlords taking advantage of the lack of supply and ripping off tenants, In Leeds TUSC supports recently lobbied the council over this and the question of letting agents fees.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
We would return to a fully nationalised and democratically run NHS. Scrap the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) bill which is costing the NHS £60bn despite the funding gap only being £30bn.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
There needs to be real investment in employment and proper apprenticeships for young people. Many of the current government schemes equate to slave labour for already super rich employers. Two national steps would be to nationalise the construction industry, employing thousands in the building and connected trades to build much needed affordable housing for people across the country. A second would be to nationalise the energy industry and use some of the hoarded profits to build renewable energy infrastructure. It has been highlighted that we could create 1 million jobs in this sector alone. Which is roughly the youth unemployment figure. We would scrap the recent rise in the retirement age and ensure that the state pension was a generous amount that people could live on. Further creating jobs for young people and ensuring that people could retire with dignity.

Further to this we would scrap tuition fees at all levels of education to ensure that people could retrain and access education/training at all levels.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
When you look at the majority of those who are our ‘representatives’ in society then they all appear to be from particular sections of society. We would argue for a Proportional Representation system to ensure that we democratised our system further. the difficulties and oppression that is faced by minorities results in a decreased representation in parliament as a whole. The only way to tackle this is to tackle all oppression within and across society.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
We’d campaign for a vote to leave the bosses’ club that is the EU. It’s designed in the interests of big business and not those of working class people, just look at the suffering EU institutions, as part of the ‘Troika’ alongside the IMF, are inflicting on Greek workers. Where countries such as Ireland have rejected further EU free market treaties in referendums, they’ve been made to vote again. The EU leadership are currently trying to further deepen it’s neo-liberal character by negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) which threatens public services such as the NHS and gives free reign to damaging practices such as fracking amongst many other things.

My opposition to the EU is on a very different basis to the narrow nationalism of Ukip & the Tories. They’re squabling over how best the wealthy and big business can maintain their grip on our country, in or out of Europe. I’m in favour of uniting Europe, but on an equal and socialist basis – fighting in solidarity with workers across Europe to fight austerity, whether it be Greek workers fighting cuts and privatisation, workers in Ireland fighting the imposition of the water tax or other fights.

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