Labour North East Cambs parliamentary candidate Iraq veteran Ken Rustidge lays out his priorities

PUBLISHED: 11:47 07 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:47 07 August 2014

Ken Rustidge was selected as the official Labour Party candidate for North East Cambs.

Ken Rustidge was selected as the official Labour Party candidate for North East Cambs.

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An Iraq veteran says he is “highly delighted” to have been chosen to represent Labour in next May’s general election.

Ken Rustidge, 54, was chosen to represent Labour at a meeting of the NE Cambs Constituency Labour Party on Saturday.

He will contest for the seat currently held by Conservative MP Steve Barclay.

Mr Rustidge, who is standing for the first time, said: “I’m highly delighted to the chosen by the good people of North East Cambridgeshire to fight the general election and I’ll do my best.

“I’m standing because of the unfair way things are run at the present time by the coalition government. It’s time people stood up and put forward Labour as an alternative, fairer system.”

Father-of-two Mr Rustidge has been a teacher for more than 20 years and is a full-time official with the National Union of Teachers.

He has also been an army reservist for more than 30 years and served in Iraq in 2006.

His priorities are to defend the NHS from privatisation, fight for better resources for education in Cambridgeshire and tackle low wages across the area.

He said: “I’ve been talking to members around North East Cambridgeshire and they are very disappointed and worried by the privatisation of the NHS.

“The NHS is one of Labour’s greatest achievements and the idea a large section of it is being privatised with profits being put before patient care is not right.

“My intention is to go around the constituency and meet people to see what their concerns are and I will champion them.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Ken impressed the party members by making a huge effort to visit all areas of the constituency, and speaking with many in person.

“He is an experienced campaigner, and his enthusiasm to take the arguments for change to the doorstep was a winning factor on Saturday.”

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