'I'm going to win this time' - Independent parliamentary candidate aims to be a 'strong' constituency MP

PUBLISHED: 14:11 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 08 November 2019

Claire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire Wright

Claire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire Wright

Matthew Davison

'I want remain. I support a confirmatory vote' - the independent candidate who came second in East Devon in 2017 has begun her latest challenge.

Claire Wright says she is not contemplating losing on December 12 and Conservative MP Sir Hugo Swire's decision not to stand again means the contest is wide open.

Ms Wright's results in 2015 and 2017 make her the most successful independent parliamentary candidate in the country by more than 10,000 votes.

She began preparing her campaign last year and says being an MP is being a councillor on a wider senior level.

If elected, she says her first her first private member's bill will focus on the environment, but there is one topic that is dominating debate for now.

"I need to make my position on Brexit clear, that's the big issue of the moment," she said. "My position is I want to remain, I support a confirmatory vote. I would want there to be whatever deal there is on the table, plus remain.

"I say where I stand on the NHS, vulnerable people, young people - these are the key things. My manifesto is based on two surveys I have done.

"I'm local, I have been living in East Devon. East Devon is in my blood this is where I live and where I love living."

Her political career began in 2009 after being elected onto Ottery Town Council.

She was a district councillor between 2011 and 2015 before stepping down and she successfully contested her Devon County Council seat at the 2013 and 2017 elections.

At her official launch on Saturday (November 2) Ms Wright received the backing of former Independent Martin Bell, former MP for Taton.

The mum-of-one said: "I feel confident this time. I did not back in 2017 or 2015. I'm going to win this time, it just feels right.

"I have been in politics 10 years, I haven't just decided at the beginning of the year I want to be an MP.

"I'm not contemplating losing, I do not know that sounds, but I cannot see myself not winning here. I hope I do not eat my words."

Ms Wright sees being an Independent is an advantage as she would not have a party line that would have to be followed.

"For the most part I focus on being a really strong constituency MP, that's my motivation," she said.

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