Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Paul Spooner – Biography

Paul Spooner

Paul Spooner

Paul Spooner has played a major role within local politics for the last 20 years, and will be the only candidate standing for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) within the area.

He has campaigned tirelessly for the city, and his political ambitions started in the 1970s.

Being a former support of Militant, he is now representing TUSC in the forthcoming Hull West and Hessle election.


Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Claire Thomas – Biography

Claire Thomas

Originally from Devon, but graduating from The University of Hull with a PhD in International Politics, Claire Thomas is the parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the Hull West and Hessle constituency in the forthcoming election.

She is currently a Liberal Democrat Councillor for the Pickering Ward in West Hull, and has been very active in campaigns to improve the quality of life for residents within the city.

She believes her role is to stand up for Hull and Hessle, and let people know about the great people in our area.

Away from politics, Claire has worked in the manufacturing sector and has also been a lecturer in International Politics at the Universities of Hull and Sheffield.  She is also works within the voluntary sector for a local charity supporting vulnerable women.

Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Paul Salvidge – Biography

Paul Salvidge

Paul Salvidge

Born on the Bransholme Estate, Paul Salvidge is currently the chairman of the Hull West and Hessle branch of UKIP, and will be standing for parliament in the forthcoming election.

He studied at Hull Grammar School, before studying Law at the Polytechnic of Central London, before returning to his roots, completing a post-graduate degree in European Union, Policies and Politics at the University of Hull.

His politican career started out representing the city as a Labour city councillor in the late 1990s, before defecting to UKIP.

Away from politics, Paul has worked for a number of multi-national companies negotiating contracts between companies and with governments.

Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Angela Needham – Biography

Angela Needham

Originally campaigning for the Liberal Party, Angela Needham joined the Green Party in 1981.

A graduate of Literature and Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, she was chair of the university’s United Nations Student Association, and played an active part in raising awareness and fundraising to help a South African student escape the apartheid regime and gain a university education.

She campaigned against the locating of Cruise Missiles in the United Kingdom, and was one of the 3 founders of the Molesworth Peace Camp in 1981.  She has also been involved in support groups through the Miners’ Strike, and during both conflicts in the Gulf.

In her spare time Angela is a keen bird watcher and enjoys doing surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology, Marinelife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Jo Barker – Biography

Jo Barker

As a graduate from the University of Liverpool, Jo Barker was a late replacement for the Conservative Party for the Hull West and Hessle constituency, following the defection of Mike Whitehead to UKIP.

A Midlands-based business woman, Jo Barker has been a member of the Conservative Party for the last 25 years, and was initially the shortlisted for the Thirsk and Malton constituency, before the vacancy arose in Hull West and Hessle.

Currently she is the managing director of a commercial property firm in Warwickshire, which has been in the same family ownership for five generations.

She wants to represent Hull West and Hessle because she wants to give everyone access to the same opportunities she have had.

Away from work and politics, Jo enjoys travelling, diving and singing.

Election Blog for Hyperfruit – Alan Johnson – Biography

Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson has served the constituency of Hull West and Hessle, since it’s inception in 1997.

Born in London in 1950, he attended Sloane Grammar School in Chelsea, before leaving at the age of 15, taking a job in a supermarket stacking shelves.

Aged 18, he worked as a postman, and became interested in Union politics, joining the Union of Communication Workers, becoming Branch Official, and ultimately as General Secretary in 1992.

A member of the Labour Party since 1971, he worked for Labour’s National Executive Committee, until entering parliament in 1997.

During his time in the Commons, he held various Government roles, including Secretary of State for Health, Education, Trade and Industry, and Work and Pensions.  In 2009, he became Home Secretary, replacing Jacqui Smith.

He ran for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party in 2007, where he was narrowly beaten by Harriet Harman.  He was touted for a leadership challenge in 2014, which he denied.

Away from his political life, his hobbies include music, tennis, reading, cooking, football, and radio.  He has also published two volumes of his memoirs, winning several awards for his work.