A LABOUR opponent to Cllr Paul Brading has emerged ­— and she's a former Portsmouth MP.

Labour and Co-operative candidate, Sarah McCarthy-Fry, is among three candidates hoping to take on the Conservative education lead in the local elections.

An MP for Portsmouth North between 2005 and 2010, she served as schools minister, responsible for special educational needs.

Sarah has lived on the Island for the past nine years and is standing in Lake South ­— Cllr Brading's ward. Cllr Brading is currently responsible for children’s services on the Island.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Cllr Brading says he welcomes anyone standing in Lake South ­— a ward he has been very proud to represent for the last four years.

"I am honoured to be standing again," said Cllr Brading.

"For me, the important thing is all about what I do for my residents of Lake, rather than just about education matters.

"I should point out that Ms McCarthy-Fry has never shown any interest in Lake, and has never even attended a parish council meeting."

Sarah stood for parish council in Lake in 2017. She believes the Tory government and council have badly let down Island children with special needs.

She said: “Parents should not have to fight for the right provision for their children.

"A Labour-led council will listen to parents, put their children’s needs at the heart of decision making, and increase both the funding and quality of special needs education.”

Island Labour chair, Richard Quigley said: “We are very pleased Sarah has stepped back into politics.

"Her experience and passion for education is second to none. As parents of children with special educational needs will know, provision on the Island is very hit and miss.

"Our aim is to increase the funding and quality of provision. The Tories have talked the talk, but not walked the walk on education."

Also standing in the ward are Patrick Barry (Green) and Linda Pitcher (Vectis Party).

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