Election hopeful for North Norfolk James Wild denies he is ‘out of touch’

(Right to left) Michael Fallon visits Holt in support of James Wild. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP.

(Right to left) Michael Fallon visits Holt in support of James Wild. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP. - Credit: Archant

A government advisor, who is battling for a marginal Norfolk seat, says his years working in Westminster have not left him out of touch with average voters.

North Norfolk candidate James Wild, who worked for Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon before standing, said: 'I know the prime minister and senior ministers – I have seen how government works and that's why I think I would be right for North Norfolk.'

The 40-year-old former lobbyist, who is standing for the first time, dismissed suggestions his work history meant he would not understand voters. 'The term 'lobbyist' is rather loaded but I think once I explain to people what that actually means – securing investment, working closely with government – they can see that my CV is very useful,' he said.

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'I was planning on standing in 2020 but the snap election has given me the chance to stand a few years early. North Norfolk was the only seat I applied for and I am delighted to be given the chance to stand here.'

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Although Mr Wild now lives in North London he grew up in North Walsham, leaving at 18, and still has family in the area. He says he is enjoying campaigning and is buoyed by the reaction.

And, as an ardent supporter of quitting the European Union, Mr Wild believes Brexit remains a wildly contentious issue in North Norfolk.

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Attacking his Liberal Democrat rival he said: 'You can't sit on the fence on Brexit. But that is what Norman Lamb has done and will again. The constituents voted leave but he is trying to gloss over the fact he and his party want to stand in the way of how people voted. He even refused to vote to trigger Article 50.'

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But he said that alongside local issues the battle for North Norfolk would be influenced by the perception of the national leaders: 'Only Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn have a chance of leading the country after the election. And for that reason I think a lot of people are switching their vote.'

The Labour candidate in North Norfolk is Stephen Burke.

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