A prominent Conservative councillor has put his name forward as a potential candidate in the forthcoming Corby and East Northamptonshire by-election.
Oakley Vale ward councillor David Sims, 50, leader of Corby Conservative group has officially entered the running for selection. It means his name has now gone forward to Conservative Campaign Headquarters for consideration.
Mr Sims, a former binman and driving instructor, describes himself as a ‘working class Conservative’ and said his aim is to put people before politics.
He said: “I hadn’t considered running but I have had such overwhelming support from members of the public, as well as from local activists and from people further afield.
“I have lived locally all my life and I think I am a community-minded person. I think lots of politicians forget what their job’s all about, and that’s the people they represent.
“Since I have been on Corby Council I have come into contact with many people from Corby and from East Northamptonshire and I recognise that they are really two different areas with very separate needs.
“If I were selected as a prospective Parliamentary candidate, I hope that I could represent both their sets of views as I have a good understanding of both of these areas.”
Cllr Sims is married with two daughters aged 19 and 22. He grew up in Stephenson Way and went to Rockingham Road Primary School. His family moved to Orkney Walk and he attended Lodge Park School before leaving to become a binman at Corby Council before becoming an apprentice welder, and then a driving instructor.
He married in 1982 and now lives in Cottingham.
His dad is former Labour councillor Joe Sims. David said: “I suppose I grew up around politics and was inspired by my dad, although there have been a few disagreements about politics over the years.
“He has actually joined the Conservative party now though. I have his full backing and that of my family.
“I would describe myself as a working-class Conservative. I have done a range of jobs and have not come from a privileged background.”
Cllr Sims said that he is not deterred by the fact that Labour are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the seat.
He said: “Nothing’s guaranteed in politics.
“I’ll work hard for this campaign whoever the candidate is.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight. The austerity measures have obviously not helped our popularity as a party locally, and I think the perception of Louise Mensch wasn’t really that good in Corby and East Northants.
“But being a local man means I would have a big personal vote which would help.”
Cllr Sims said important policies to his campaign will be providing local jobs and encouraging investment and regeneration.
He said: “We need to ensure that there are enough jobs in the area, and that those jobs include professional jobs. We need to make sure that young people want to stay in Corby and work here.
“We also need to continue to attract private investment in the town, as we have seen at the new cinema site and the new Tesco in Oakley Road.”
Louise Mensch resigned from her role as MP on Monday, and the Conservative party has six months in which to officially call a by-election. The Labour candidate, Andy Sawford, has already been selected and began his campaign for election in Thrapston yesterday, with a visit from Labour leader Ed Miliband.