Third time lucky for Dr Appleby?

The long sands of Tynemouth.
Image: Flickr, Tom Chance.The long sands of Tynemouth. Image: Flickr, Tom Chance.

The Head of Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University, Dr John Appleby, is set to stand for the third time as a Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidate (PPC), in the upcoming general election.

Following defeats in both 2010 and 2015, Dr Appleby has now been invited to stand again in Tynemouth as the PPC, in another attempt to oust the incumbent, Alan Campbell, on June 8th.

Dr Appleby stood as the Liberal Democrat PPC for Tynemouth in 2010 but finished third behind the Labour and Conservative candidates, even though the mechanical engineer gained nearly 15% of the vote.

Following the setback, in advance of the 2015 general election, Dr Appleby changed his constituency and stood as a PPC in North Tyneside. The chartered engineer however, took a further setback as he finished fourth behind the Labour, Conservative and UKIP candidates, with just over 4% of the overall vote.

The Cambridge graduate has previously stood for the elected role of North Tyneside’s Mayor. Dr Appleby  finished third however, in the election, behind the Labour and Conservative candidates in both 2013 and 2017.

The challenge facing Dr Appleby, in this forthcoming election, couldn’t be more intense as Labour’s Alan Campbell has held the seat since 1997. The challenge is made even more difficult as since the Conservative challenger of 2005, Michael McIntyre, came within 5,000 votes of Mr Campbell, the Labour MP has continually extended his majority of his seat.

While taking a deep interest in politics and current affairs, Dr Appleby has the responsibility of balancing his personal research and his teaching, as well as the interests and wellbeing of over 1000 students and staff, at the University. Dr Appleby also has roles as a school governor, a trustee of several charities and a member of regional and national church committees. The PPC for Tynemouth manages all of this while managing to find the time for a spot of hill-walking and folk music.

Speaking to NorthEastLibDems.com on his political make-up, Dr Appleby said:

“Politically I’m a pragmatist, aiming to balance well-being and concern for the vulnerable with the need to run things efficiently in everybody’s interests.

I always aim to find ‘constructive consensus’ – ways to move forward that everyone can buy into. Overall, my priorities are the environment, and increasing cooperation within the UK, with Europe, and the wider world through dialogue, education and trade.

As a professional in Higher Education, I see the value of our international students (who should not be regarded as migrants) and the vital importance of our science and research sectors.

Right now, we need to get the best deal with Europe in everyone’s interests, with a final decision taken by the British people.  A bad deal with Europe will leave everyone worse off, and with worse prospects for human and animal welfare, nuclear safety and the environment.”

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