THE Labour Party has announced its candidate for the upcoming general election. 

The next election is to be held no later than January 28, 2025, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has repeatedly said that he intends to hold the election in 2024 - with some thinking November 14 is the most likely date.

The Labour has this afternoon announced that army veteran and clean energy strategist Matt Aldridge has been selected as its candidate for Salisbury.

It completes the line up for Salisbury votes: Sitting MP John Glen will once again be the Tory candidate, while Salisbury City Councillor Victoria Charleston will represent the Lib Dems, author Barney Norris will stand for the Green Party, and Arthur Pendragon will stand as an Independent candidate

Salisbury Journal: Matt Aldridge Matt Aldridge (Image: Labour Party)

'Salisbury needs a stronger voice'

Mr Aldridge said: “I am delighted to have been selected as Labour’s candidate for Salisbury in the next General Election. We’re a community of kind, hard-working people who the Conservatives have failed on every front — from economic mismanagement down to profiteering during a global health crisis.

Local businesses are closing. More and more families rely on food banks to survive a cost-of-living crisis. GP and dentist appointments are few and far between. And our heritage chalk streams — one of the planet’s rarest assets — are used for sewage discharges. Salisbury needs a stronger voice."

Mr Aldridge says his family has lived in Salisbury for generations. He was previously a Scout in the city, as well as Head Boy of Bishop Wordsworth’s School.

He then served in the army in 16 years, including in Afghanistan, and worked as a civil servant on the climate crisis. 

He said: "As father to a young daughter, I know how hard it is to raise a family in a cost-of-living crisis. I’m registered partially sighted, so I’ve lived the frustrations of accessibility. As a clean energy strategist, I know what it takes to create a brighter future with clean jobs, a clean environment and clean politics.

"This election will be a close one. From what we see in the polls to what we hear on Salisbury doorsteps, it’s clear only Labour can beat the Conservatives in Salisbury. This is why I am asking you, no matter who you normally support, to lend me your vote.

"If I am privileged to be elected as your MP, I will not stop and I will not rest until we have won a better deal for Salisbury — one that gives back as much as we all put in.”

Tom Corbin, former Mayor of Salisbury and previous Labour Party Parliamentary candidate, said: “Matt is friendly, hardworking and passionate about Salisbury. His background and experiences along with his local roots make him a fantastic candidate, and would make him an outstanding local MP.”