'Incompetent political class' has 'failed us' - election candidate makes pitch for Horbury and South Ossett seat

21 council seats are up for election.
21 council seats are up for election.

An independent candidate is placing Brexit and the failures of what he calls the "embarrassing" political class at the heart of his local election campaign.

56 year-old welder Mark Harrop is hoping to cause an upset in the Horbury and South Ossett ward in Thursday's poll.

Mr Harrop has branded "mainstream" politicians , an "aloof, self-centred bunch of incompetents" and has accused them of deliberately drawing out the Brexit process.

Competing against Labour, Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party in Ward 8, Mr Harrop says he makes no apologies for the nature of his campaign.

If elected, he wants to use his position to call for a general election and a shake-up of Westminster politics.

Mr Harrop, who has lived in the local area since 1976, said: "We're in a total mess and we're being led by a lot of people who don't know what they're doing.

"They're trying to flaunt democracy by dragging out the Brexit process.

"Parliament has had long enough to convince us that 'Brexit means Brexit', when what they want us to agree to is nothing of the sort and, indeed, far worse than before.

"If they can't see beyond their own limited interests, if they won't facilitate a progressive economy and greater freedoms, then it's time we told them 'time's up'."

Mr Harrop said he believed the EU delivered neither progressive economies or greater freedoms, and said it was in the best interests of both the UK and the EU itself, to leave.

He also said he was getting a good reaction while on the campaign trail, and believes he could offer an alternative to people who tend for the party they dislike the least.

With regard to local issues, he also wants a review of fortnightly bin rounds, which he says have caused problems in the ward.

He added: "People often talk about our politicians and say, "They should do this", and "They should do that," but then they'll go and vote and put a cross next to the least worst option.

"I think fortnightly bin collections is something that needs looking at properly.

"Round the area I live the bins just get blown all over the street and you end up with rubbish."

This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will appear on our websites in the run-up to polling day.

List of candidates standing in Horbury and South Ossett

Simon Fishwick - Conservatives

Mark Goodair - Liberal Democrats

Mark Harrop - Independent candidate

Melanie Jones - Labour

Richard Norris - Green Party

Local Democracy Reporting Service