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Conservative party ‘on track’ to defeat LibDems in North Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 14:35 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:06 13 May 2017

Conservative candidate James Wild is pictured on the campaign trail at the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham along with local councillor Richard Shepherd. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Conservative candidate James Wild is pictured on the campaign trail at the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham along with local councillor Richard Shepherd. Picture: Ally McGilvray

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James Wild was speaking on a visit to the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham.

Conservative candidate James Wild is pictured on the campaign trail at the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham along with local councillor Richard Shepherd and supporters. Picture: Ally McGilvray Conservative candidate James Wild is pictured on the campaign trail at the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham along with local councillor Richard Shepherd and supporters. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Conservative candidate James Wild will take on Liberal Democrat contender Norman Lamb at the ballot box next month.

And he criticised his rival’s decision not to vote on Article 50 - which signalled Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Mr Wild was speaking on a visit to the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham on Friday morning.

He is one of three candidates contesting the North Norfolk seat at next month’s General Election. The other candidate standing is Labour’s Stephen Burke, chairman of the North Norfolk Labour Party.

The constituency has been held by the LibDems since 2001, however their majority was halved to around 4000 at the last count in 2015.

And UKIP, who have decided not to field a candidate despite polling more than 8000 votes, have urged their supporters to back the Conservative Party, who finished second, this time around.

Mr Wild said: “I think there is a lot at stake here.

“The choice is between me, the candidate who is backing Brexit - which is what people voted for - to get the best deal in this part of the region, and candidates who want to block and frustrate the process.

“Norman Lamb didn’t even vote on whether to trigger Article 50; you can’t sit on the fence on a big issue like this.

“Brexit is happening, we’ve got to make a success of it and Theresa May going off to negotiate with the EU and the other 27 members needs the full backing of Parliament and that’s what I’ll be offering.”

The former special advisor to the defence secretary, who is married to the leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Natalie Evans, revealed he was preparing to draft in the big guns to help his campaign - despite Mr Lamb already having claimed the Conservatives would win overall control of the House of Commons following the vote on June 8.

Mr Wild said: “It’s a competitive race. And you can expect to see some important people coming along here, some cabinet ministers, to lend their support. This seat is winnable.

“I’m here because I’m a local boy, I grew up in North Walsham, and I want to get a better deal for Norfolk than it has in the past.” And he added: “A Conservative will be able to do that as part of a Conservative government more easily than a Liberal Democrat will.”

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