From The Telegraph and Argus, 9th June 2017
Written by David Knights
LABOUR'S John Grogan has promised to hit the ground running after taking the Keighley seat from Conservative Kris Hopkins. He expects a range of in-depth briefings on vital Keighley issues like the incinerator, the public-sector hub in North Street, and the newly-announced Aire Valley Retail Park.
And he pledged next week to hold the first of his much-promised surgeries open to all across the constituency.
Mr Grogan, who gained 24,066 votes against Hopkins’s 23,817 votes, said it was the proudest moment of his life to be elected the seventh Labour MP for Keighley.
He paid tribute to not only his Labour predecessors like Bob Cryer and the “legendary” Ann Cryer, but Mr Hopkins’s “outstanding” service both as an MP and earlier as leader of Bradford Council.
Speaking of all the six candidates, he said: “We had a robust campaign but it was always fair and did credit to the people of Keighley.
“I would like to thank the people who voted today, and whether they voted for me or not, I will serve you as my MP.
“I would like to be the sort of MP that reunites this diverse constituency. I would hope to I can live up to the expectations of those who voted for me.”
Mr Grogan said he would work to force the government to change its policies, so it provided millions of pounds more funding for education in Keighley as well as increasing funding for Airedale Hospital.
Mr Grogan thanked his Labour supporters for carrying out a vigorous campaign on his behalf over the past few weeks.
He added: “It looks like we’re going to have no one party in a majority in the country. We have a divided nation in many ways, and we must all have a say in Brexit."
Mr Hopkins has congratulated new Labour MP John Grogan on his success.
Mr Hopkins said: “This General Election campaign has been a challenge, both locally and nationally, and we came very close to victory.
“I wish John well in the role and hope he can deliver on his pre-election promises to the people of Keighley and Ilkley.
“Representing my home ward of Worth Valley on Bradford Council and my home seat of Keighley in the House of Commons in my 19 years in public office has been an immense privilege.
“I want to sincerely thank everyone who supported me, and hope I have done some lasting good for my community.”
After hearing all the results, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “I’m delighted we’ve got the three Labour MPs in Bradford back in Westminster. On top of that we now have John Grogan winning a seat in Keighley, which is marvellous news.
“Together we are all going to make a great team, batting for the Bradford District in Parliament. We want to make sure people in Parliament sit up and take notice of Bradford.”
While he was MP Mr Hopkins had made calls for Shipley and Keighley to break away from control of Bradford Council and form its own local authority. With Keighley now having a Labour MP, this seems less likely.
Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “The Bradford District is better together. This district has the youngest population in the UK, which gives us significant advantages.
“We should make the most of this advantage and we shouldn’t spend time messing around with bureaucracy.”