Tory idol for new Witham seat

WITHAM Tories begin the search this weekend for a parliamentary candidate in the new seat which has been created by boundary changes.Activists from the four seats it is carved out from - Colchester, Braintree, Maldon & Chelmsford East, and North Essex - will interview 19 hopefuls on Sunday and Monday.

By Graham Dines

WITHAM Tories begin the search this weekend for a parliamentary candidate in the new seat which has been created by boundary changes.

Activists from the four seats it is carved out from - Colchester, Braintree, Maldon & Chelmsford East, and North Essex - will interview 19 hopefuls on Sunday and Monday.

They will whittle this figure down to either an interim or final shortlist. Party members will then make a final decision in the middle of the month.


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Local Tories hoping to win through are Kevin Bentley, who fought Colchester in 2001 and 2005, Sarah Candy, an Essex county councillor, and Geoffrey Van Orden, one of the region's Euro MPs.

Witham is expected to be a safe Tory seat. It has a notional majority of 7,500 which in a good year for the Tories qwill increase to between 12,000 and 15,000.

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As well as Witham town, the constituency includes Tiptree, Stanway, Kelvedon and Coggleshall.

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