Sims and Bedford out of Corby by-election race

Corby Rangers Supporters Club Question Time: David Sims.'22/02/11
Corby Rangers Supporters Club Question Time: David Sims.'22/02/11

A Corby councillor who put his name forward as a potential candidate in the Corby and East Northants by-election has withdrawn from the contest.

Conservative member for Oakley Vale Cllr David Sims had expressed an interest in becoming the prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat following the shock resignation of MP Louise Mensch last month.

Cllr Sims had said he would be a strong representative for local people because of his long association with the town.

However, he has now stepped aside to concentrate on being a local councillor. He said: “It wouldn’t have been fair for me to stand as I am on holiday for the selection night.

“There are lots of issues locally that I feel I would like to continue working on as a councillor. I would like to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion before standing.

“I am considering standing in 2015, depending on the outcome of this by-election.”

Former East Northamptonshire councillor Peter Bedford, who had also expressed an interest in standing, has confirmed today that his name is not on the shortlist drawn up by Conservative Campaign Headquarters.

The Conservatives’ selection evening takes place at the Holiday Inn in Corby tomorrow. There are known to be local candidates on the list, although the details have not been released.

Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss had been rumoured to be one of those being considered for the shortlist, but his name was ruled out yesterday after it was revealed he had missed the deadline for consideration.

Meanwhile, UKIP have opened a campaign HQ in the former Baguettaway shop in Everest Lane to help win votes for their candidate Margot Parker. The Labour candidate Andy Sawford also has his own campaign office being opened today by former Home Secretary Alan Johnson in Corporation Street.

The Liberal Democrat candidate is former Northampton Borough Councillor Jill Hope.

Respect Party leader George Galloway has said that he is keen for his party to put up a candidate in the by-election. The name of former Member of Youth Parliament Joseph Hayat has been linked with the campaign, although there are no confirmed Respect candidates yet.