OXFORD East has been a Labour stronghold since 1987, when former MP Andrew Smith snatched victory from the Conservatives.

Since then, Mr Smith’s majority has risen and fallen but stood at an impressive 15,000 in the 2015 General Election.

Now he has retired from politics, his Labour candidate successor Anneliese Dodds will be fighting to protect that legacy.

But she faces competition from four rivals, including the Liberal Democrats’ Kirsten Johnson and Tory candidate Suzanne Bartington.

Chaka Artwell, the independent who previously ran in 2015, is also fighting the contest again.

The Conservatives were traditionally Mr Smith’s closest rivals but from 2001 to 2010 the Lib Dems came second.

Also competing is Larry Sanders, for the Green Party, whose brother is the firebrand United States senator Bernie Sanders.

Larry Sanders previously ran unsuccessfully against Nicola Blackwood in the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency in 2015.

He has campaigned for more funding for the NHS and social services.

Oxford Mail:


Oxford Mail:

Chaka Artwell, Independent

  • I AM Artwell, the independent candidate for Oxford East. My policies are straightforward, and include: p Promoting the development of genuinely affordable local housing, to buy or to rent, priced at the income range of Oxford East people.
  • Transferring the banks “bail-out” loan from the Treasury back to the banks, to save the public purse paying £120 million daily in interest charges, and use this to restore public spending. p Tackling the shortage of NHS nurses and doctors with an immediate increase in the number of training places available;
  • Providing medical care, and offering a home in England, for all Arabic refugees who have been hurt, and made homeless by English bombs. p There must be no more military support for the destabilisation of the Arabic world. p Parliament must resist the continued military occupation of Palestine. p Reducing VAT. p Making access to Justice & Tribunals affordable. p Protecting Whistleblowers, who are essential for democracy.
  • Supporting a clean Brexit. As an independent, I am free to pursue these policies and put your concerns above party politics. Career politicians should not be trusted with your vote. Vote for me on June 8 to gain an independent, alternative voice to represent you in Parliament.

Oxford Mail:

Kirsten Johnson, Liberal Democrats

I’M STANDING in this election because I believe it is time that Oxford had an MP who will represent all that makes this city great. This constituency voted overwhelmingly to Remain in last year’s referendum – and no wonder: our hospitals, our universities and our industry rely on the joined-up Europe the EU provides.

We need an MP who is going to be unequivocal in their opposition to a hard Brexit, not one who will vote with the Conservatives, as Andrew Smith notoriously did. If elected, I will fight to keep the UK in the Single Market, fight to give EU citizens the right to remain, fight to remain a member of Euratom, and fight to give people a democratic vote on the deal.

I have lived locally for many years and raised my family here. I understand the housing crisis facing the city, having struggled to get on the housing ladder myself.

Liberal Democrats will build half a million more affordable homes and bring back housing benefit for 18-21 year olds. We will invest in green infrastructure and renewable energy, put £7 billion more into education and properly fund the NHS with £6 billion more per year

Oxford Mail:

Suzanne Bartington, Conservative 

I AM fortunate to have my family roots here in Oxfordshire, having been born at the John Radcliffe Hospital, growing up locally and returning to Oxford after completing medical training as a hospital doctor. Currently I work as an international health researcher and a university lecturer, training the next generation of student doctors and nurses. Living locally means that I am aware of the significance of Oxford as a global city and I also understand the matters of local concern.

As an experienced healthcare professional, I know first-hand the pressures facing our five local hospitals and the pressing need to integrate our local NHS and social care services to deliver shared care plans with joint outcomes. I am deeply concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Oxford and the importance of delivering more affordable homes within the city and improving accommodation quality in the rental sector.

Our road transport network is heavily congested and I am committed to working with central government to deliver the worldclass transport network that Oxford so desperately needs.

At this most important General Election of a generation on June 8, a vote for the Conservative Party is a vote for a brighter vision for our future. A vote for a country that truly works for everyone.

Oxford Mail: Larry Sanders,  Photo credit: MARK HEMSWORTH.

Larry Sanders, Green Party

I HAVE lived, worked and raised my family in Oxford East over 47 years. I like it that we have a sense of community, and believe we should not be left alone when things go wrong.

As a social worker, lawyer and county councillor I have tried to make life easier for people with disabilities and their families. I am proud that my brother, Bernie Sanders, has become the most popular politician in America by demanding that government work for all its people, not just the very rich.

I have tried to do the same. Zoe Williams, in the Guardian, kindly said of me: “Social justice has been his life’s work.”

My key policies are:

  • Fully fund the NHS and end privatisation.
  • Fund social care and make it free at the point of use p Build hundreds of thousands of council homes and control rents.
  • Free tuition and maintenance grants whether for university or vocational training
  • Install renewable energy and insulate every building in the country. I will, like Caroline Lucas, work with anyone for such goals.
  • I will support the Labour Party when they are right, but not when they vote for cuts to disability benefits, or support Trident, Hinkley and HS2. Conservatives cannot win in Oxford East.
  • Vote for the candidate who best reflects your values.

Oxford Mail:

Anneliese Dodds, Labour 

OXFORD is a great city. I first moved here in 1996, and live on Rose Hill with my partner Ed and our two young children – our son starts at Rose Hill Primary School in September.

I want to stand up for our local services. The NHS has great staff but is struggling with Tory underinvestment and botched reorganisation. Schools are not properly funded, and our social care system is not fit for purpose.

Our city faces a housing crisis. We need a local MP who not only understands these problems but is determined to try and do something about them.

In my current role as an MEP, I helped bring about major change to tax rules to stop big companies dodging tax. I have also been working to try and stop Theresa May’s ‘extreme’ Brexit, which threatens jobs and communities here in Oxford, as well as potentially harming our environment and working rights.

Above all, if elected, I want to be a strong, caring voice as the Labour MP for Oxford East. Andrew Smith has been a great MP because he is approachable, hardworking, and puts the needs of local people first. I promise to do the same if elected.