Peterborough Labour leader pledges to work with new MP to promote party’s city agenda

The leader of the Labour group on Peterborough City Council is hopeful of working with the new MP for Peterborough to push forward the party’s agenda.

Cllr Shaz Nawaz said new Labour MP Lisa Forbes shares many of the same concerns as the party’s council group, in particular regarding crime, fly-tipping and education.

Lisa Forbes giving her victory speech

Lisa Forbes giving her victory speech

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Speaking after Ms Forbes’ election victory last Thursday, Cllr Nawaz said: “Lisa and I have known each other for many, many years. We worked together in the past and have campaigned together.

Cllr Shaz Nawaz

Cllr Shaz Nawaz

“The key issues of education, fly-tipping, crime are the issues that Lisa cares about and some of the issues we put forward in our manifesto.

“Of course housing is very important and that’s something I wish to push, and the environment.

“We made it very clear in our manifesto (for the city council elections) we would look to build 3,000 homes over five years which are much needed. Lisa knows about that and is very supportive.

“We are second bottom in the SATs league tables so Lisa will be pushing very hard for that in Parliament. Really we need a Labour government to properly fund the education system, but at least Lisa will be a strong advocate to get the ball rolling.”

Ms Forbes defeated Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene by 683 votes in the by-election, which was called after former MP Fiona Onasanya had been recalled by her constituents following her conviction for perverting the course of justice.

Ms Onasanya was the first ever MP to be ousted through a Recall Petition after being jailed for three months for lying about speeding points.

Asked why Labour had won, Cllr Nawaz said: “Our campaign was built on hope and was built on clear, credible policies. People believed in those and came out and supported us.

“The Brexit Party have no real policies, no plans, no perspective and just one single issue which was Brexit and that just wasn’t strong enough.”