IN a town whose mills once clattered to the noise of a thousand looms, there is a certain irony in watching its political future hang by a thread.
Elsie Whiteley knew the value of textiles to Halifax better than anyone. Born at the turn of the 20th century and put to work at 12 as a machinist, she went on to create a fashion brand which in the pre-Carnaby Street era could be seen on the West End counters of Selfridge’s and John Lewis.
If her name resonates today, it is most likely because of the “innovation centre” on Hopwood Lane which bears her name. Innovation is in short supply in the immediate surroundings, a jumble of West Riding terraces and lock-ups that say more about Halifax’s past than its future.
It is here in the Elsie Whiteley Centre, among the creative and digital startups, that Holly Lynch has her office. She has been the town’s Labour MP for just two years, selected with seven weeks’ notice and elected with a slender majority of 428 – the party’s most marginal in the region.
The Halifax child abuse trial can’t help labour’s cause: