Labour looking for new candidate

Jessica Pearce with Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw

Jessica Pearce with Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw - Credit: Archant

Labour’s parliamentary hopeful for East Devon, Jessica Pearce, has withdrawn her candidacy for this May’s General Election.

Now East Devon’s Labour Party are advertising for a new candidate, who they hope to have in place by February 16, writes David Beasley.

Jessica, a 37-year-old area organiser for the National Union of Teachers, was chosen as Labour’s candidate last January. She had been out campaigning as recently as last weekend.

The party had polled 5,721 votes in 2010, a little under 11 per cent of the electorate.

But following strong European election results last year, where they came third in the region, party chiefs were confident of improving.

Ray Davison, her election agent, said: “It is with regret, that Jessica, after a great deal of consideration, has decided to withdraw her candidacy with immediate effect.

“Jessica has been an outstanding candidate, but we understand her need to focus on caring for her new baby. We wish her well in the future, and fully expect her to be a successful candidate at a later date.”

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Carole Newton, chairman of the East Devon Constituency Labour Party added: “While this is a considerable disappointment, we are determined to select another candidate as soon as possible to continue the fight against the savage nature of the coalition Government and help to secure a Labour government in May, which is what East Devon and the country so desperately needs.”

Candidates for the East Devon parliamentary seat are currently Hugo Swire, Conservative, Andrew Chapman, UKIP, and Claire Wright, Independent.