The current list of Leicester candidates for the next general election

Plus: Council ‘cyber incident’ update, major repairs to major roads, and interviews with bar staff across Leicester.

Photo of a polling station sign. Credit: Joe Clemson

In Focus

The current list of Leicester candidates for the next general election

by Rhys Everquill

This story was published in March 2024. For an up-to-date list of candidates in Leicester, please visit our general election hub here.

Speculation is growing as to when the next general election will be. Still, Leicester’s local political parties are wasting no time preparing. 11 candidates have announced they will be standing across the city’s three parliamentary constituencies.

Now that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out a May general election, The Gazette looks at who has already announced they will stand as candidates.

Sunak will likely call the general election in the second half of this year.

Leicester East

Claudia Webbe currently holds the seat and sits as an independent MP after being charged with harassment of a woman spanning two years. In 2019, she stood for the Labour Party and won a comfortable majority despite a 15.3% swing to the Conservatives.

Labour will attempt to reclaim the seat with Rajesh Agrawal, whom the party selected in November. He was, until recently, the deputy mayor of London for business and previously founded RationalFX, a foreign currency exchange firm that went under last year.

On Friday, the Liberal Democrats picked Evington Cllr Zuffar Haq. He is a long-time health campaigner and received an MBE in 2019 for his charity work.

The Green Party has chosen Mags Lewis, a former candidate for Leicester South. Reform UK nominated Raj Solanki, the party’s candidate for North Evington last year.

The Conservative Party has yet to announce their candidates for the constituency.

Leicester South

Leicester South is Labour’s most secure seat in the city. In 2019, incumbent Jonathan Ashworth held his position with a sizeable 22,675 majority. Ashworth has held various shadow cabinet positions since being elected in 2011, when he took from Sir Peter Soulsby, who stood down to contest Leicester’s first mayoral election.

Ashworth will face off against Lib Dem Carol Weaver, an expert in international relations and former editor of East Midlands Bylines. At the same time, the Greens will field ex-Labour Stoneygate councillor Sharmen Rahman. Reform UK has nominated Craig Harwood.

The Conservative Party has yet to announce their candidates for the constituency.

Leicester West

Veteran MP Liz Kendall is expected to contest Leicester West for Labour for the fifth time, having been first elected in 2010. Her majority has fluctuated in recent years, with the Conservatives close behind at the last general election. She secured victory with a 4,212 majority, an 11.1% decrease.

The Liberal Democrat’s Benjamin Feist will be fighting for the seat. He currently works as an emergency department nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Reform UK is fielding Ian Hayes, their candidate for Syston in the Charnwood Borough Council elections last year. He was previously a member of UKIP and was a council candidate for the party twice before joining Reform UK.

The Greens did announce an all-woman line-up in February. However, Jasmine Lowen – the party’s candidate for Leicester West – withdrew from the race after her expulsion from Leicester College, apparently due to her activism around the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza. The college said, “No disciplinary action whatsoever has been taken against any student because they support Palestine”. The Green Party has yet to replace Lowen.

The Conservatives have yet to announce their candidates for the constituency.

  • This article was amended on 18 March 2024. It neglected to mention the Liberal Democrat’s Benjamin Feist in Leicester West. We have amended the story to include him.

Weather Forecast

by Phil Morrish

🌥️ Monday: Cloudy start at 7C, breaking to sunny periods in the afternoon. Mild, reaching 14C. Dry evening with a chance of overnight rain at 9C. Moderate W wind, max 15mph.

🌤️ Tuesday: Mild with clouds, clearing to sunshine by afternoon. Maxing at 14C. Moderate W breeze, max gust 20mph. Rain likely overnight into Wednesday.

⛅️ Wednesday: Mainly cloudy with patchy rain, mild at 13C. Moderate W breeze, max 24mph. Cloudy but mild night, min 9C.

🌥️ Thursday: Mild and cloudy start at 6C, some drizzle in the morning. Brighter afternoon with temps reaching 12C. Mild night, min 9C.

🌤️ Friday: Dry start at 10C, sun breaking through in the morning. Maxing at 13C with a moderate W breeze, max gust 18mph. Dry evening with patchy cloud, min temp 7C.

🌦️ Weekend: Cooler start at 7C on Saturday, with showers likely and a max temp of 10C. A fresh NW breeze at 25mph will make it feel cooler. Sunday begins cool at 5C, staying mainly dry but with a brisk NW breeze at 25mph. Some sunshine expected, but max temps of 10C will keep it feeling cool. Min temp Sunday night 4C.

In the News

by Rhys Everquill

Update on council’s ‘cyber incident’: Disruptions to the council’s IT systems and phone lines could last up to two weeks, but they have begun the ‘gradual process’ of restoring everything. They are working with the police and specialist agencies to identify the cause - Leicester City Council

Leicester’s busiest roads to see ‘major’ repairs: A government grant of £830,000 will be used for major repairs on Narborough Road and Melton Road. Both streets will be resurfaced to address cracking and other damage. Narborough Road will be resurfaced during the summer holidays to minimise disruption. The council has yet to confirm when the Melton Road works will occur - BBC Leicester

Two landmark buildings are up for auction: One is on Granby Street and houses the restaurant San Carlo, while the other is opposite the Clock Tower and is home to HSBC Bank. Neither business will be affected by the sale - Leicester Mercury

Great Central Railway reunified: After more than 50 years, our namesake railway line between Leicester and Nottingham lines up again thanks to a vintage Routemaster bus service. The attraction is working to connect the lines permanently - BBC Leicester

Leicester charity urges local companies to chip in: The New Futures Project has written to hundreds of companies throughout March, hoping they’ll help fund its comprehensive welfare and counselling service for women and young people - Leicester Times

The challenges workers in the hospitality industry face: The Gazette has conducted extensive interviews with bar staff and venue workers across Leicester, shedding light on their experiences within the local hospitality sector - Great Central Gazette

Gangs, syringes and bodily fluids: A view from behind the bar
A raw and unfiltered glimpse into the challenges workers in the hospitality industry face.

Photo of the Week

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Photo of The Gazette's AGM. Credit: Hiu Man Chan

Last week, 37 people, including 20 paid members of The Gazette, attended our first-anniversary event and AGM, held at Soft Touch Arts on New Walk. Photo by Gazette member Hiu Man Chan.

What’s On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

🚨 💷 Heritage Day: Repatriation of Artefacts from Museums – 20 March 2024

Join the Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage for an eye-opening talk about the contents of Britain’s museums and their colonial origins. From 6pm-8pm. Tickets from £5. 

💷 The Secret Garden: The Musical – 22 March to 6 April 2024

Calling all theatre fans! The Little Theatre is hosting Leicester Drama Society’s production of The Secret Garden. Matinee and evening performances are available. Tickets from £16.

💷 Steam with the Team – 23 March 2024

Visit Abbey Pumping Station for an exclusive tour of the Beam Engine. You’ll be able to see parts of the Station that are usually inaccessible to the public! Tours start at 11am. Tickets from £8. Suitable for ages 10+.

💷 Our World From Space – 23 March to 14 April 2024

Head over to the National Space Centre for a fantastic, family-friendly day of activities. Learn about how UK space science is relevant to the future health and sustainability of planet Earth! Tickets are £17.95 or free with an annual pass. 

💷 Bardi Symphony Orchestra: Sibelius Symphony No.2 – 24 March 2024

Fancy a little music? Head to De Montfort Hall for a stunning afternoon of classical music performed by the Bardi Symphony Orchestra. The performance starts at 3pm. Tickets from £5.

🆓 Unlocking The World – Now until 26 May 2024

Pop down to Attenborough Arts Centre for a terrific exhibition of artistic works made by young people attending Special Education Needs and Disabilities schools. Open on weekdays 12pm-5pm and on weekends 12pm-4pm.

On the Market

by Rhys Everquill

This is a stunning four-bed, two-bath house in Stoneygate with a mix of contemporary and original features. It also has a downstairs W/C, in case two shower rooms weren’t enough already. The courtyard garden is quaint, but you probably wouldn’t spend much time there with Victoria Park around the corner.

Price: £600,000

Food and Drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of a 10oz Ribeye rare at 1573 Bar & Grill

Tucked into one of the oldest buildings in Leicester is the 1573 Bar & Grill. Having been raised in Texas, I take my steaks very seriously. 1573 gets a very easy 10 out of 10 for presentation. I ordered the 10oz Ribeye rare. The steak was cooked the way I wanted it the first time, and it tasted like it was done over an open flame. Also, go peppercorn if you are caught short in deciding what sauce you want. You won’t be disappointed.

Price: £28.95

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

Men’s football: Leicester Men’s finish their run in the FA Cup after a 4-2 loss to Chelsea on the 17th. Read more

Women’s football: Leicester Women’s showed a solid front against Liverpool in their FA Cup quarter-final after a commanding 2-0 win. Jutta Rantala put the team on her back, scoring both goals for Leicester, one in the 15th minute and one in the 63rd. Read more

Motorsport: Louis Sharp of Rodin Motorsport takes the fastest lap after day two of pre-season testing for the GB3 season. Testing wrapped up on the 14th at Donnington Park Circuit. Read more


by Rhys Everquill

Photo of St. Martins Square in the summer of 1986 with the 39 Steps in the middle and the bandstand at the back.

St. Martins Square in the summer of 1986 with the 39 Steps in the middle and the bandstand at the back.

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