The campaign to be the next MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire after Louise Mensch’s surprise resignation is beginning to hot up.
Labour started the ball rolling last Thursday when the party’s leader Ed Miliband joined Andy Sawford, the Labour candidate, in Thrapston and spoke to supporters, warning them they faced a tough battle to win the seat from the Conservatives.
Since then Mr Sawford and his supporters have been out on the streets talking to people. He said: “We’ve been working really hard to meet as many people as possible and talk about the issues that matter to them.
“People want an MP who will stand up for them, who will work to get jobs into the area and protect our services. I’m asking them to put their trust in me and the response has been really positive.”
Oakley Vale councillor David Sims, and Peter Bedford, of Rushden, who is already on the list of approved Parliamentary candidates for the Conservative Party, have both thrown their hats into the ring to become their party’s official candidate.
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Conservatives across Northamptonshire are already out campaigning for our great police and crime commissioner candidate, Adam Simmonds, and will be busy campaigning across Corby once the by-election is called.”
The Liberal Democrats will reveal the name of their candidate soon and have said the campaign is important not just for local Liberal Democrats but the party as a whole. They are holding three action days, starting tomorrow, and hope to distribute 10,000 leaflets in the constituency by Sunday.
Lib Dem Cllr Chris Stanbra said: “We are fighting hard. This is not an easy battle for us, it is a marginal Conservative/Labour seat but we believe we have a good message to put across, and will have a good candidate, who will be chosen by local members well before the end of August.
“Labour and the Conservatives will spend the £100,000 they are allowed to fighting this election, we don’t have that type of money as we rely on smaller donors, but we will be making every penny count.”
UKIP have announced the name of their candidate, Margot Parker, and party leader Nigel Farage and MEPs Roger Helmer and Derek Clark will be in the town on Saturday. Mr Helmer said: “There is only one party that offers common sense policies on a whole range of issues. A party that can honestly claim not to have contributed to the economic mess we’re in. And that party, of course, is UKIP.”