Candidates lining up to replace Neil Parish in Tiverton and Honiton
Dan Wilkins and Oli Heptinstall, LDRS
- Credit: Archant/Contributed
The candidates for the upcoming by-election in the Tiverton and Honiton political constituency are beginning to line up.
Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, June 23, to elect their new MP, following the resignation of Conservative Neil Parish after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons.
Mr Parish has revealed he is not standing having previously suggested he could. Instead, the Conservative Party has selected Helen Harford as its candidate. The party will be hoping to retain its usually safe seat.
Ms Hurford, a former head teacher who is currently deputy mayor of Honiton, says her campaign will ‘focus on delivering on people’s priorities for the area including improving transport links, supporting farmers and businesses’.
“As someone who was born and bred here, I am thrilled to be selected as the Conservative candidate for Tiverton and Honiton,” she said.
“I understand what it is like to live and work here and the issues people want addressing across the constituency.
“But most of all, people here want an MP to get on with the job and deliver on their priorities. And like them, I want this constituency to thrive and take all the opportunities we have here.”
The Liberal Democrats see themselves as the main challengers to the Tories but will need to overturn a majority of more than 24,000 votes secured by Mr Parish at the general election in 2019.
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Former army major Richard Foord has been announced as the candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Foord said at the campaign launch that voters’ concerns are ‘largely around the cost of living’.
He added: “We’re seeing the price of things like bread and pasta going through the roof.
“Inflation is at a 40-year high at nine per cent, and as Liberal Democrats we would immediately bring in a VAT cut of 2.5 per cent, which would put £600 back into the pockets of constituents here.”
Businesswoman Liz Pole has again been named as Labour’s candidate.
Ms Pole, chair of the local Labour party, also stood at the last election in 2019 – finishing a distant second and some 24,000 votes behind Mr Parish.
Describing her nomination as an ‘honour’, she said: “Times are much tougher than they should be for hardworking people across our constituency.
“We are in a cost-of-living crisis, and in Tiverton and Honiton, real wages will fall by £1,100 this year on average because of spiralling inflation.
“It’s time we sent a clear message to Boris Johnson that enough is enough, because Tiverton and Honiton, and the country deserve so much better.”