Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Lib-Dems Name By-election Candidate

Former city councillor April Pond has been chosen by the Liberal Democrats to contest the Norwich North by-election.
Mrs Pond was chosen during a selection meeting - with details appearing on the Twitter micro-blogging website within minutes of the result.
The businesswoman, who is currently the parliamentary candidate for the new Broadland seat, previously stood in South-West Norfolk in 2005.
During the selection meeting she confirmed she would no longer be standing in Broadland and wanted to focus on the city seat - where the party has finished a distant third in the last two general elections.“
In Norwich North, we have a real opportunity to make a real change,” she said. “It is clear that Labour are set for a very bad election. Charles Clarke has already said that Labour could finish third at the general election. The Conservatives offer nothing but the same old politics that has let the people of Norwich down.”
It comes amid speculation that party leader Nick Clegg had been casting around for a well-known local name to stand in the seat - with former Tatton MP and broadcaster Martin Bell among those rumoured to have been approached.
Yesterday Mr Clegg said the party “could not ask for a stronger candidate”.
“She would be a breath of fresh air in Westminster and, as an MP, I have no doubt that she will be a tireless champion for Norwich,” he said.
No date has been set for the by-election, sparked after Ian Gibson quit in the aftermath of the MPs expenses row.
Labour is expected to name its candidate next Sunday. Last week John Cowan, vice-chairman of the Norfolk Labour Party, and Phil Taylor, principle at Norwich City College, ruled themselves out of the Labour race.
Chloe Smith will stand for the Conservatives.
UKIP candidate Glenn Tingle will be campaigning in Norwich today with party chairman Paul Nuttal. Mr Tingle, who was forced to deny trying to stir up racial tension after calling for tighter immigration controls after an armed siege involving Eastern Europeans in Norwich, said the by-election was an “excellent opportunity” for UKIP to build on its recent European and county council election success.
Norwich Evening News 24

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