Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 13:03 UK

Sheffield gets first Communist candidate since 1979

Steve Andrew
Steve Andrew has lived and worked in Sheffield for 20 years

The Communist Party has confirmed it is fielding a candidate in Sheffield for the first time in more than 30 years.

Librarian Steve Andrew is standing in the newly-created Sheffield South East constituency, which largely comprises the former Attercliffe seat.

The 40-year-old father of one will be the first Communist Party candidate in the city since the 1979 election.

It will also be the first time a Communist has fought the former Attercliffe constituency since 1931.

The new Sheffield South East seat retains much of the old Sheffield Attercliffe constituency, stretching through Sheffield's old industrial East End and south to the newer residential areas of Mosborough.

All the major parties want us to believe that there is no alternative to massive cuts to public jobs and services
Stee Andrew, Communist Party candidate

Sheffield's traditional industries of heavy engineering and steel-making, much of which was carried out in the Attercliffe area, were badly hit in the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Andrew said: "Despite all its claims of wanting a fairer and more just society, New Labour's love affair with big business has resulted in a widening of the gap between the rich and poor in Sheffield and throughout Britain.

"All the major parties want us to believe that there is no alternative to massive cuts to public jobs and services. We are the only party that disagrees.

"We argue for a people's alternative programme financed by the scrapping of the Trident nuclear weapon programme and the proposed ID card scheme."

He said those measures would result in £85bn of savings.

"A further £120bn could be raised the vigorous pursuit of revenue lost in tax avoidance by the super-rich and big business," said Mr Andrew.

Since the 1940s the Attercliffe seat had only three MPs, all Labour. John Burns Hynd represented the seat for 25 years until 1970, Pat Duffy took over and served for another 22 years and Clive Betts was first elected in 1992.

Nigel Bonson is standing for the Conservatives, Gail Smith for the Liberal Democrats and Jonathan Arnott for the UK Independence Party.

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