The battle between the Conservative and Labour parties is as old as the hills, but at this week’s local government elections two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) politics students are adding a new twist to the long-running rivalry.
Politics student Reece Ladwa, who is standing for the Conservative Party, and Politics and International Relations student, Ruma Begum, who is representing Labour, are going head-to-head to try and win a seat at Leicester City Council.
Not only are they representing rival parties, they are also fighting it out for a seat in the same Humberstone and Hamilton political ward.
Conservative candidate Reece on campus before election day
Ruma campaigns with other Labour candidates and Keith Vaz MP
So as the voters prepare to go to the ballot box this Thursday 2 May, the two students have been mixing study time with canvassing in their community to prove they are the right man or woman for the job.
With the ward having three seats available at Leicester City Council, there is a chance both could be elected and continue their political rivalry in the council’s chamber for the next four years.
Reece, who is the youngest candidate in the elections at the age of 20, used to watch political programmes with his grandfather at the age of 12 and his first memory of having his interest peaked by politics was watching George Osborne’s first budget.
Ruma started work at 16 in a community centre helping people fill out forms for council houses and benefits and realised she wanted to do more to fight for people’s rights.
The two politics students are keeping their campaigning for the doorsteps of Humberstone and Hamilton, but both of the council candidates agree more students at DMU should become politically active.
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Ruma said: “Students who have studied politics, international relations and economics should get involved with elections, whether they stand for a seat or help at the count.
“It’s good experience and, no matter what the outcome is, you can use the skills for future work.
“It’s a very rewarding experience to help accomplish things that make a massive difference to people’s lives.”
Reece added: “We are the future of this country. We should all play an active role and make a difference to our future.
“Look at every party and look at their manifesto. Join a society at DMU and take the opportunity to have your say.
“Being in a party brings people together with similar views to share ideas – a lot of brains are better than one. You not only share ideas but learn from others and make some brilliant friends as well.”
The full list of candidates for the Humberstone and Hamilton ward as listed by Leicester City Council are:
RUMA Ali, Labour Party; BELLINGER Pam, The Green Party; KESHAVJI Leela Manoj, The Conservative Party Candidate; LADWA Reece Romi Sanjiv, The Conservative Party Candidate; SANDHU Gurinder Singh, Labour Party: SMITH Philip Simon , Liberal Democrats: THAKKAR Utkarsh Maheshbhai, The Conservative Party Candidate: THOMAS John William, Labour Party.
Posted on Wednesday 1st May 2019