Fox attacks Lamb: Tory trade minister Liam Fox brands LibDem losing speech as ‘very odd’ and claims Norman Lamb lacked clout in parliament

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, and James Wild, Conservative candidate for Nor

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, and James Wild, Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, speak to staff during their tour of Structure-Flex in Cromer. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

The Secretary of State for International Trade joined Conservative candidate James Wild on the campaign trail in North Norfolk.

Paul Reeve, managing director of Structure-Flex, gives Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Internationa

Paul Reeve, managing director of Structure-Flex, gives Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, and James Wild, Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, a tour of his factory in Cromer. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

The decision by the Liberal Democrat candidate for North Norfolk to declare the Conservative Party will win next month's General Election has been branded 'very odd' by the Secretary of State for International Trade on a visit to the constituency.

Dr Liam Fox joined local Conservative candidate James Wild on the campaign trail in Cromer on Monday.

He claimed Norman Lamb, who urged voters to back him to keep the Tories in check despite admitting he expected them to increase their majority at the polls on June 8, lacked clout in parliament as a member of a 'tiny' party.

The senior Conservative minister was speaking on a visit to the Structure-Flex factory in Holt Road, which was officially opened by the sitting LibDem MP two years ago, as the party attempt to turn Norfolk blue.

Paul Reeve, managing director of Structure-Flex, gives Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Internationa

Paul Reeve, managing director of Structure-Flex, gives Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, and James Wild, Conservative candidate for North Norfolk, a tour of his factory in Cromer. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant


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Mr Fox said: 'I think it's a very odd message to say: 'My party are going to lose the election'. And he seems to think it is better to have a voice on the losing side than the winning side, in terms of being able to push the interests of people in this constituency.

'In Norman Lamb, they've had a good constituency MP, I like him very much myself; but this is about electing a government, it's an election where we're looking at one of the most important tasks that any government has had in recent years - negotiating our exit from the European Union - and we want to have a government with a strong voice.

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'I would like those that live in this part of the world to be represented in that government and have a say in what happens in those negotiations, because if you have a member of parliament that is part of a tiny representation in the House of Commons they simply don't have the clout that somebody who is part of the government party will have.'

And he added: 'No politician campaigning (for election) ever considers not winning, except potentially Jeremy Corbyn.'

Meanwhile, Mr Wild, who grew up in North Walsham. confirmed he would return to his roots in North Norfolk if he is elected, after it emerged Mr Lamb doesn't live in the constituency he has served for the past 16 years.

Dr Fox's visit is the latest in a series of high-profile visits from Conservative cabinet ministers. Mr Wild said: 'I'm hoping to give North Norfolk the voice that it hasn't had.'

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