Positive spin from the man aiming to unseat MP Smith

The Oxford Times: Dr Mark Mann Dr Mark Mann

THE Liberal Democrat picked to challenge Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith next year said the party can snatch his seat after 27 years.

Engineer Mark Mann, 33, was selected as the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate on Saturday by party members.

Despite the Lib Dems facing criticism for their part in the coalition and taking a beating in elections, Dr Mann is optimistic.

In 2010 Mr Smith held his seat with 21,938 votes, or 42.5 per cent against second place Lib Dem Stephen Goddard, who polled 17,357 or 33.6 per cent.

Conservative Edward Agar took 9,727 votes or 18.9 per cent. Father-of-two Dr Mann said: “Clearly we have had a few setbacks in the council elections recently but I hope to bring the local party back up again.

“What the Lib Dems have struggled with is to get their message out about achievements that have been made during the coalition.”

He pointed to next month’s rise in the tax free allownace from £9,440 to £10,000, free meals for all infant school pupils from September and an extra £1.25bn for schools last year under its “pupil premium”.

He added: “Yes, we have had to make some compromises but the top of our list is raising the income tax threshold again which will have a big impact on the people of East Oxford.”

Dr Mann is an engineer for the research and development team at the BBC in Salford, and will move to Oxford ahead of a transfer to London.

He said: “It is a fresh approach at getting things done.

“Some of the feedback from Andrew’s constituents is that he gives a lot of responses to people but nothing really changes.

“While he has been an MP for Oxford East the gap between rich and poor has widened and Lib Dem policies will tackle that.”

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Mr Smith replied that he welcomed Dr Mann as an opponent and looks forward to a constructive and clean campaign.

He said: “I will as ever work very hard, as I do at each election, to earn a victory and to retain the trust of my constituents.

“In my time there have been wonderful new hospitals built, we have saved the car plant, one of the best businesses in the world, there have been big expansions at both universities, as well as in teaching and research.

“There is still more to do but Oxford has changed a lot in my years as MP and we have got to keep Oxford economically successful.

“Anyone who doesn’t think there has been much change doesn’t know Oxford very well.”

At the 2005 poll Labour had 36.9 per cent to the Lib Dems’ 34.6 per cent and this was 49.4 per cent to 23.4 per cent in 2001 and 56.8 per cent to 14.78 per cent in 1997.

Oxford East Liberal Democrat chairman Tim Bearder said: “After 27 years of life under Mr Smith I think the people of East Oxford are ready for a change and Dr Mark Mann offers a real vibrant alternative.

“With physics teacher Layla Moran working incredibly hard to take back the marginal seat of Oxford West & Abingdon, city residents have the opportunity to elect two young, talented science graduates dedicated to delivering a stronger economy and fairer society for the people of this vibrant international city.”

s Dr Clive Peedell is to stand for the National Health Action Party against Prime Minister David Cameron in Witney. Labour’s Duncan Enright will also stand there.

Comments (7)

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6:47am Tue 4 Mar 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Personally, I'm looking forward to the Liberal Democrats being humiliated at the next election and the whole party being consigned to the history books. They have lied and cheated their way through the last few years while acting as the Tory lap dog and always being trotted out whenever there was bad news to deliver. Remember student fees Mr Mann ?
Personally, I'm looking forward to the Liberal Democrats being humiliated at the next election and the whole party being consigned to the history books. They have lied and cheated their way through the last few years while acting as the Tory lap dog and always being trotted out whenever there was bad news to deliver. Remember student fees Mr Mann ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 0

8:11am Tue 4 Mar 14

Myron Blatz says...

Sorry mate, but like the previous LibDem parliamentary candidate who stood against Andrew Smith on several occassions without success, you'll find that the people in Oxford East prefer to vote for someone who lives locally and has proven to be part an active member and supporter of the people of Oxford, and who is someone not just seen at times of elections, either! Maybe Dr Mann should follow David Owen's example and support Labour!
Sorry mate, but like the previous LibDem parliamentary candidate who stood against Andrew Smith on several occassions without success, you'll find that the people in Oxford East prefer to vote for someone who lives locally and has proven to be part an active member and supporter of the people of Oxford, and who is someone not just seen at times of elections, either! Maybe Dr Mann should follow David Owen's example and support Labour! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

9:26am Tue 4 Mar 14

Shaun the Faun says...

The LibDems need an exceptional candidate if they're going to win this seat. The last chap was pleasant enough and knew his stuff, but had zero 'presence' This was strikingly obvious when you saw him up against Andrew Smith in a public meeting. Smith 'owned' the platform whereas Goddard came across as earnest, but uninspiring.

Memo to Mr Bearder: Give your chap some media advice pronto - including how you should look, dress and pose when having your photo taken for use in the constituency. ;-)
The LibDems need an exceptional candidate if they're going to win this seat. The last chap was pleasant enough and knew his stuff, but had zero 'presence' This was strikingly obvious when you saw him up against Andrew Smith in a public meeting. Smith 'owned' the platform whereas Goddard came across as earnest, but uninspiring. Memo to Mr Bearder: Give your chap some media advice pronto - including how you should look, dress and pose when having your photo taken for use in the constituency. ;-) Shaun the Faun
  • Score: 2

9:29am Tue 4 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

With the ongoing challenge of obtaining reasonably priced property in East Oxford, I'm not convinced that a candidate who is buying in Oxford to work in London is a marketable trait.

His wife / lover / partner will have to work locally in a socially pleasing role (such as state primary school teacher or NHS medic) to offset that one.
With the ongoing challenge of obtaining reasonably priced property in East Oxford, I'm not convinced that a candidate who is buying in Oxford to work in London is a marketable trait. His wife / lover / partner will have to work locally in a socially pleasing role (such as state primary school teacher or NHS medic) to offset that one. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

10:12am Tue 4 Mar 14

EMBOX2 says...

Andrew "war monger" Smith has had his day. It is time for someone else. Sadly the people of East Oxford still seem to think Labour are a working person's party; when nothing can be further from the truth.

If you want someone who will jump up and down, vote IWCA, if you want a party who can manage the economy, vote Tory (sadly). Labour have proved they are not fit for purpose, both socially and economically.

I've always voted Lib Dem but won't next time around. At this moment, I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. I can't forgive Labour for Iraq, that alone rules them out.
Andrew "war monger" Smith has had his day. It is time for someone else. Sadly the people of East Oxford still seem to think Labour are a working person's party; when nothing can be further from the truth. If you want someone who will jump up and down, vote IWCA, if you want a party who can manage the economy, vote Tory (sadly). Labour have proved they are not fit for purpose, both socially and economically. I've always voted Lib Dem but won't next time around. At this moment, I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. I can't forgive Labour for Iraq, that alone rules them out. EMBOX2
  • Score: -1

12:31pm Tue 4 Mar 14

King Joke says...

I would vote Labour as they've had a bit of clear-out of Blairites, however A Smith was part of the war cabinet so that rules him out completely.

If Goddard still couldn't quite pip A Smith in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq war, there is very little chance of another Lib Dem doing the same now.
I would vote Labour as they've had a bit of clear-out of Blairites, however A Smith was part of the war cabinet so that rules him out completely. If Goddard still couldn't quite pip A Smith in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq war, there is very little chance of another Lib Dem doing the same now. King Joke
  • Score: 2

2:37pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
Andrew "war monger" Smith has had his day. It is time for someone else. Sadly the people of East Oxford still seem to think Labour are a working person's party; when nothing can be further from the truth.

If you want someone who will jump up and down, vote IWCA, if you want a party who can manage the economy, vote Tory (sadly). Labour have proved they are not fit for purpose, both socially and economically.

I've always voted Lib Dem but won't next time around. At this moment, I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. I can't forgive Labour for Iraq, that alone rules them out.
People who "jump up and down" tend to remain in the same place whilst everybody else has moved.

If Salmond & Sturgeon are successful in their mid to withdraw Scotland from the UK, that's a loss of 40+ Labour seats in the Commons.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Andrew "war monger" Smith has had his day. It is time for someone else. Sadly the people of East Oxford still seem to think Labour are a working person's party; when nothing can be further from the truth. If you want someone who will jump up and down, vote IWCA, if you want a party who can manage the economy, vote Tory (sadly). Labour have proved they are not fit for purpose, both socially and economically. I've always voted Lib Dem but won't next time around. At this moment, I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. I can't forgive Labour for Iraq, that alone rules them out.[/p][/quote]People who "jump up and down" tend to remain in the same place whilst everybody else has moved. If Salmond & Sturgeon are successful in their mid to withdraw Scotland from the UK, that's a loss of 40+ Labour seats in the Commons. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

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