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Friday 6 February 2015

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TUSC now has 72 parliamentary candidates in place, with more to come

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee meet on Wednesday 4th February to approve another round of parliamentary candidates. Including those agreed by the Scottish TUSC steering committee (nine so far), there are now 72 TUSC candidates in place for May's general election.

The candidates approved this week included rebel councillor Kevin Bennett (see www.tusc.org.uk/17054/29-01-2015/enough-is-enough-another-rebel-councillor-links-up-with-tusc-to-fight-austerity), who will now be standing for TUSC in the Warrington South constituency.

Also agreed as candidates were Dave Pitt, the West Midlands regional chair of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), standing in Dudley North; and RMT members Ted Woodley, contesting Birmingham Erdington, and Richard Andrzejak, standing in Chatham and Aylesford. Richard becomes the second RMT member to contest a seat in the north Kent Medway council area. He joins the local RMT branch Young Members Officer Dan Burn who is standing in the Rochester and Strood seat of UKIP MP Mark Reckless - showing in action how the trade unions can offer a working class political challenge to the right-wing party.

A full list of the TUSC parliamentary candidates agreed so far can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/320.pdf.

The steering committee also began the process of approving candidates to stand in the local elections that will take place in 279 English local authorities on May 7th. TUSC is aiming to surpass the record 560 candidates that stood under the TUSC banner in the 2014 local elections; contesting 1,000 wards would get TUSC to the broadcasting authorities 'fair coverage' criteria for these elections too. The list of council candidates approved so far can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/321.pdf.

To be a TUSC candidate in May you need to complete a TUSC Candidate Authorisation Application form. Copies of the forms are available on the TUSC website at www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php - there are different forms for parliamentary candidates and local council candidates.

To be considered in the next round of approvals, forms should be e-mailed to Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, at cliveheemskerk@socialistparty.org.uk, by Sunday 15th February, with those approved being posted up on the TUSC website the following week.

There is a guide for prospective candidates and agents, including an explanation of TUSC's procedures, available at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/317.pdf