Darren goes green in north Essex

BIDDING to become one of the greenest parliamentary candidates at the election is Labour’s Darren Barrenger in the new seat of Harwich & Essex North.

He’s cycling around the constituency and will be leading a team of intrepid party volunteers and canvassers through the winding lanes of Mersea Island his Saturday.

He’ll be taking the soft option of the ferry from Brightlingsea to Mersea, but on following Saturdays, the Labour team takes to two wheels to make visits around Harwich and Wivenhoe. “It’s an ideal way for me to have proper contact with the electorate,” says Darren. “They can flag me down and talk about the issues which are concerning them.”

n BLEEDING FOR LABOUR IN COLCHESTER: It’s been tough on Labour campaigners in Colchester. At the weekend, two of candidate Jordan Newell’s activists were injured in separate incidents. One was bitten by a dog - tell me one election where some mutt or other has not taken a dislike to canvassers disturbing his or her peace - and the other fell down a very steep garden path. Both incidents drew blood, one was treated by Jordan, who is a first aider, leading to this new Twitter tag ‘bleedforlabour’.

n WHAT ABOUT BOY GEORGE? David Cameron and Kenneth Clarke have been voted by business leaders as being the most trusted politicians to steer Britain back to health. A survey of 540 senior business figures by DLA Piper, the law firm, found that more than a third of respondents felt the Conservative leader was the best politician for the economy, followed by the shadow business secretary, who attracted 21% of the votes.

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Oh dear! No mention of the official Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.

Meanwhile, Cameron is milking the Tory pledge on National Insurance for all it’s worth. Cameron clearly believes the “tax on jobs” pledge to halt Labour’s planned increase from April 2011 is going down a storm with voters as well as entrepreneurs and the chief executives of leading UK companies.

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Yesterday he pressed the flesh at builders’ merchant Jewson in the Tory target Reading West constituency in Berkshire, talking to staff about his party’s plans to protect jobs. Backing his NI policy is Jewson chief executive Peter Hindle, who employs more than 6,000 people.

n THE DOCTOR CHECKS IN: In the first party election broadcast of the 2010 campaign, Labour recruited film star Sean Pertwee and ex-Doctor Who David Tennant to urge voters to trust Gordon Brown. The broadcast entitled The Road Ahead claims the choice is following the straight road ahead to recovery or taking an apparently easier route which will swiftly lead into disaster.

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