LABOUR and the Liberal Democrats have announced their candidates standing in Skipton and Ripon for July’s General Election.

Labour’s Malcolm Birks, 48, an architect, lives in Skipton with his wife and two children.

If elected, he is promising to fight for a better deal for the working people of the region, citing the NHS, infrastructure, boosting the local economy and affordable housing as priorities.

The July 4 general election will be the second time Mr Birks has stood for the traditionally Tory seat, having gained second place for Labour for the first time ever in 2015. Growing up in Glusburn, he attended South Craven School. He volunteers as a junior cricket coach and is Chair of Skipton Community Sports Hub.

He said: “If elected I will listen to local people and highlight the issues facing this region in Westminster. I feel we are a forgotten outpost, ignored by central government and policy makers, but I am optimistic we can change this and get our fair share of the investment in infrastructure.”

The Liberal Democrats have put forward Councillor Andrew Murday to contest the seat for the party.

Mr Murday, who was formerly a consultant heart surgeon in the NHS, has represented Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale on the North Yorkshire Council since 2022.

He is chair of Nidderdale Natural Landscape, previously the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and sits on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

He said: “For years our area has been taken for granted by an out-of-touch Conservative Government that has failed to get the basics right and lurched from crisis to crisis - now it’s time for a change.

“Local health services have been brought to their knees, people’s mortgages and rent have skyrocketed and water companies have been allowed to pump their filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches. All this by a Conservative government more interested in fighting between themselves than standing up for the country.”

Conservative Julian Smith was elected Skipton and Ripon MP in 2010 and is seeking re-election.

Councillor Andy Brown, who lives in Cononley, is standing for the Green Party, and Simon Garvey has been selected as the Reform UK candidate.

The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers is 4pm on June 7.