FOLLOWING the announcement of a General Election next month, we asked the parliamentary candidates in the new Penrith and Solway seat to go beyond the politics and reveal a bit more about themselves.

We put a series of questions to them ranging from their hobbies and ideal nights out, to something surprising about themselves that our readers may not know, the responses of Markus Campbell Savours (Labour) , Mark Jenkinson (Conservative) and Julia Aglionby (Liberal Democrat) were published in the paper last week.

After the publication of the final list on Friday, June 7 it was revealed that a total of eight candidates would be standing in the Penrith and Solway constituency .

Here is what the other candidates had to say...

Roy Ivinson (Independent)

Roy IvinsonRoy Ivinson (Image: Supplied)

Family status: Single man

Education: Silloth Secondary School

Last job: Farmer

What prompted you to get into politics? It’s what I think about. I am interested in it.

What previous political experience did you have? I stood to be a member of Parliament four times previously.

Have you ever been a member of another party? No

Have you stood as MP before? Four times in Cumberland.

Who is your political hero? Queen Boudica

What is your hobby? Politics

What’s your ideal night out? A political husting.

What’s one thing you have done that may surprise readers? That a farmer from Silloth with no education can be interested in politics and can think he is good at it.

Your proudest achievement? Chair of Cumbria Young Farmers when I was young.

Your biggest fear? I don’t like rats.

Describe yourself in three words: A wannabe politician.

Matthew Moody (Reform UK)

Matthew MoodyMatthew Moody (Image: Supplied)

Family status: Living with partner

Education: Read Theology at Oxford.

Last job: Director, Lettings Agency

What prompted you to get into politics? I have always been interested in politics and for much of my younger years was a fervent Conservative supporter.  However I have become increasingly disenfranchised and disgusted by their attitudes towards their voters and the public that they are meant to serve.  The final straw for me was the blatant profiteering and corruption that the Tories presided over during the pandemic and their complete lack of vision for the country going forward. 

I had voted for the Brexit Party in 2019 and echoed many of their views at the time and Reform UK seemed to be a natural fit for me.  When I heard that they were looking for people to represent them, I put myself forward.

What previous political experience did you have?  I don’t.  What I do have is 28 years of experience working for businesses, both global and local together with lobbying government for changes in the housing and business sector.

Have you ever been a member of another party? No

Have you stood as MP before? No

Who is your political hero? Surprisingly I don’t have one.  I admire many politicians but I can’t say one jumps at me as a hero as like all ordinary men and women, we all have flaws and greatness within us.

What is your hobby? If I get time, I enjoy walking in the mountains (very therapeutic) or playing music (guitar or piano)

What’s your ideal night out?  An evening walk followed by a great pub meal in one of our fine establishments with a nice glass of wine.

What’s one thing you have done that may surprise readers?  I and my brother cycled the Coast to Coast there and back again (320 odd miles in 6 days) and raised nearly £10,000 for SAAFA.  A hard slog but so worth it.

Your proudest achievement? Being the first in my family to go to university and being accepted to Oxford.

Your biggest fear?  Yet another government whether it be Labour or Conservative that pays no attention to the electorate.

Describe yourself in three words: Tenacious, loyal, resourceful.

Shaun Long (Social Democratic Party)

Shaun LongShaun Long (Image: Supplied)

Family status: Married.

Education: PhD in post-Soviet politics.

Last job: Online English Tutor.

What prompted you to get into politics? I wanted a positive option to vote for. As there wasn’t one, I put myself forward as the SDP candidate rather than simply sitting and grumbling. None of the big three parties offer anything but the prospect of managed decline, and badly managed decline at that; I want to see things improve, not get worse, and they are getting worse. Politicians should focus on their constituents and the national interest, not pander – as they do – to the interests of unaccountable transnational bodies or shrill pressure groups. Our big political parties act as if we’re here to serve them, rather than the other way around. That has to change.

What previous political experience did you have? I’ve been a member of the local parish council since spring last year. I joined the SDP a couple of years ago, but had never been a member of a political party before, as none of them possessed policies, or values, that sufficiently chimed with my own. 

Have you stood as MP before? No.

Who is your political hero? Admittedly, I’m not really a great believer in heroes. That said, I do admire David Owen for breaking away from the Labour Party back in the early eighties to help found the SDP.

What is your hobby? Fell walking. That’s one of them.  

What’s your ideal night out? In a cosy country pub enjoying good ale, and good food, with my wife and old friends.

What’s one thing you have done that may surprise readers? Endured a picnic amidst a plague of locusts on a Bronze Age burial ground.

Your proudest achievement? Pride? Pride comes before a fall.

Your biggest fear? Losing a loved one.

Describe yourself in three words: Sceptical, inquisitive, dry-humoured.

Chris Johnston (Independent)

Chris JohnstonChris Johnston (Image: Supplied)

Family status Single.

Education Solway Community School and Carlisle college.

Last job (and current) Process operator.

What prompted you to get into politics? The lack of accountability and representation of people by the political parties.

What previous political experience did you have? Nothing at all.

Have you ever been a member of another party before? No. I had looked at all the parties from the Conservatives, Farage's parties, and the Lib Dems, to Labour, the Greens, and even Northern Independence Party. They all seem more concerned in dividing people than uniting them.

Have you stood as MP before? No.

Who is your political hero? I haven't got one. I admire the work of those who expanded the franchise to the majority of people which first began under the 2nd Earl Grey. I also like Tony Benn's 5 questions.

What is your hobby? I like to read, play strategy games, and go travelling when my shift schedule allows.

What's your ideal night out? A country pub with a warm fire, a cold beer, and great company.

What’s one thing you have done that may surprise readers? I've canoed on some of the lakes in Wisconsin. 

Your proudest achievement? Being asked to be best man at best friends wedding.

Your biggest fear? My biggest fear is the next government doesn't seek to engage with people across Britain, and just encourages the divisions.

Describe yourself in three words:  Laid-back, sensible, utilitarian. 

Green Party Candidate Susan Denham- Smith has been contacted for her response to these questions, she did not reply by the time of publishing.