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Political novice aims to upset the odds for Tories in Ipswich by-election

PUBLISHED: 18:50 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:06 14 August 2017

James Harding, the Conservative candidate for the by-election in St Johns ward

James Harding, the Conservative candidate for the by-election in St Johns ward

Archant

One of the youngest candidates ever to stand in Ipswich is hoping to cause a major surprise in next month’s county council by-election in the St John’s Division.

Sarah Adams has been chosen to fight the division won by MP Sandy Martin in May. Picture: GREGG BROWNSarah Adams has been chosen to fight the division won by MP Sandy Martin in May. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Conservatives have selected 18-year-old James Harding to fight the seat which became vacant after Ipswich MP – and former Labour group leader Sandy Martin – stood down from the authority last month.

In May’s county council election Mr Martin had a majority of 622 over his Conservative challenger. He had represented the divison for 20 years although the boundaries were changed in 2005 – and it is no longer quite the same as the borough ward that shares the name.

Liberal Democrat candidate for the St John's Division by-election, Ed Packard. Picture: Ipswich Liberal Democrats.Liberal Democrat candidate for the St John's Division by-election, Ed Packard. Picture: Ipswich Liberal Democrats.

Labour have already chosen Sarah Adams, who lost her St Margaret’s and Westgate Ward seat in May despite increasing her vote, and the Liberal Democrats have chosen University of Suffolk lecturer Ed Packard.

The by-election is due to take place on September 7.

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A teacher who was caught in control of a vehicle in Witham while allegedly more than four times over the drink-drive limit has been charged.

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