From a correspondent:
The popular Independent candidate’s opening statement of this obvious fact was greeted with warm applause tonight by the large audience who attended the hustings at All Saints Church Hall, organised by the Vision Group for Sidmouth.
Six candidates were present: Henry Gent (Green Party); Eleanor Rylance (Liberal Democrat); Peter Faithfull (Independent ); Dan Wilson (Labour), and Claire Wright (Independent).
The Tory candidate, Simon Jupp, had agreed to be there, but withdrew at the last minute, citing an alternative commitment to appearances at late-night shopping events at Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton that evening. Mr Jupp’s agent’s letter, courteously read out by Vision Group’s Peter Murphy,who Chaired the meeting, prompted loud guffaws from the floor.
All candidates acquitted themselves well, but a vote for any except Claire Wright would simply play into Boris Johnson’s hands. Only Claire Wright, with her decade of dedicated service as first a District, and now a County Councillor, could claim to have the “knowledge, experience, and contacts on the ground” to seriously challenge the Tory hold in East Devon.