Clacton: Labour selects Tim Young to fight UKIP's Douglas Carswell in by-election battle
PUBLISHED: 18:22 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:22 01 September 2014
Leading north Essex councillor Tim Young has been chosen as the Labour candidate to fight the Clacton by-election following Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP.
Mr Carswell was elected as the Conservative MP for Clacton at the 2010 general election but last week shocked his party by joining Nigel Farage’s ranks.
Mr Young is the leader of the Colchester labour Group and has been a representative on Colchester Borough Council since 1992. He is currently a member of the authority’s cabinet.
Speaking last night, Mr Young said: “Clacton has been left behind by this Tory-led Government. (Prime Minister David) Cameron boasts of an economic recovery in London but people locally are suffering a real cost-of-living crisis. Local unemployment remains high, rail fares and fuel prices are rising and local NHS services are under threat.
“As every day goes by it becomes clearer and clearer that Mr Cameron can’t even lead his own party, let alone give Clacton or the country the leadership it needs. This nasty little squabble between UKIP and the Tories won’t help anyone in Clacton pay their electricity bill or find a job.
“The Tories and UKIP have the same politics, the same obsessions and even the same people. They aren’t interested in the real issues that local people are facing. The only way to send a message that Clacton needs positive change is to vote Labour.”
A date for the by-election has yet to be set.
A Survation poll conducted over the weekend gave UKIP a 44% lead over the Conservatives, with the Tories slumping 33 points to 20% compared to their 2010 general election result.
Simon Martin-Redman, chairman of the Clacton Conservative Association, said it would definitely field a candidate, and whoever it was would not be forced upon them by the party HQ.
He said: “It is challenging because we were not expecting it and we will have to choose someone quickly, but we will have a lot of help from the party.
“Douglas Carswell, up until a few days ago, was my MP and a friend. He is not a stupid man. But he has chosen to fight an election with UKIP and as a Conservative we will be fighting against him.”