A teaching union official has vowed to fight for struggling families in her bid to become the MP for East Devon.

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Jessica Pearce, a 36-year-old area organiser for the National Union of Teachers, was chosen as the Labour candidate to fight the next general election in May 2015, writes David Beasley.

Local Labour members selected Jessica at a selection conference at Exmouth Town Hall, choosing her over other candidates including one from London.

She grew up in St Austell in Cornwall and currently lives in Exeter with her husband Rob, a, Labour councillor.

Jessica, who has been a union official for 10 years, said that one of her main motivations for standing for election was to stand up for local people whose lives, she says, have been made increasingly more difficult by the policies of the current coalition government.

She said: “I am a local woman with a genuine desire to make a difference for people in East Devon. The Labour Party is the only credible alternative to the current government. We need to be clear about what makes us different and to communicate that on a local level.

“People do not always connect what happens at Westminster to what happens in East Devon. I want to make that link and demonstrate our relevance to local people.”

“People in East Devon are suffering from the rising cost of living, low incomes and stretched public services. I know the constituency and I believe that I can work with you to promote the Labour party and represent the concerns of ordinary people here.”

Her agent Ray Davison said: “Jessica inspired the members with her drive and enthusiasm for campaigning.

“We have not had a woman as our candidate for some time and we all look forward to her leading us in the fight against the old Etonian and this coalition government of millionaires.”

The current MP for East Devon is Hugo Swire, a Conservative who was first elected to the seat in June 2001.

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