The man who hopes to topple former prime minister Liz Truss at the next election is taking to his toes as he hits the campaign trail.

Former Norfolk high sheriff James Bagge announced in January he would be fighting the former prime minister for the South West Norfolk seat she has held since 2010.

Mr Bagge, who will be standing as an independent, was among the so-called Turnip Taliban who opposed Ms Truss's selection by local Tories before she was elected.

Now he plans a 150-mile walk, starting on May 3, on which he intends to visit towns and villages in the constituency and speak to residents about the issues that concern them.

Eastern Daily Press: James Bagge, who hopes to win the South West Norfolk seat at the next electionJames Bagge, who hopes to win the South West Norfolk seat at the next election (Image: Ian Burt)

“It is now evident to me that many of the constituents here in South West Norfolk want another option to vote for at the next election," he said.

"They feel let down and unrepresented by Liz Truss as our member of parliament, and are embarrassed by her performance at the national level.

"It is time for a change and something different. Many are tired of party politics and the constant point scoring we witness daily. They just want someone to speak up for them, unencumbered by party dictat.”

Mr Bagge said a survey of attendees at a public meeting he called last week in the village of Marham, close to the RAF base, revealed the cost of living crisis was no longer at the forefront of residents’ concerns.

Eastern Daily Press: South West Norfolk MP and former prime minister Liz TrussSouth West Norfolk MP and former prime minister Liz Truss (Image: Denise Bradley)

He said improving the NHS and schools, along with their MP's performance on policy were likely to influence how they might vote at the next general election.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has not yet set a date for the election. But while he has hinted in may come in the autumn, Mr Bagge is already three months into his campaign.

Ms Truss increased her majority at each of the three elections in which she fought and won the seat, delivering a majority of more than 18,000 last time around.

South West Norfolk is likely to be in the spotlight by dint of Ms Truss's short-lived spell as prime minister.

A spokesman for Ms Truss said: "Liz continues to work hard as a local champion for South West Norfolk."