General Election 2017: Conservative Party hopefuls begin campaigning across Norwich

Chloe Smith (left) and Lana Hempsall, who are Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates for

Chloe Smith (left) and Lana Hempsall, who are Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates for Norwich North and Norwich South for the 2017 General Election. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The Conservatives have kicked off their General Election campaign in Norwich following a surge in Tory support for Norfolk County Council.

Chloe Smith, who has represented Norwich North since 2009, has been re-selected to fight for the position in the snap 2017 election.

Former physiotherapist and Slovenian-born Lana Hempsall is going for the Norwich South seat for the first time.

She campaigned to represent the Conservatives for Denton and Reddish in Greater Manchester during the 2015 General Election but was not successful.

During the launch at Café Britania, on Britania Road, Norwich, both prospective parliamentary candidates backed Prime Minister Theresa May in her Brexit ambitions but said local issues were also important.

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Ms Smith said: 'We need to achieve a deal on Brexit that will be good for Britain and Norwich. We [the Conservatives] are looking to be able to put the strongest possible mandate behind the Prime Minister for the hard negotiations.

'For Norwich, this means looking into areas including science, manufacturing and tourism.

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'At this point we need to come together after the divisions of last year's referendum.'

She added there would be discussions of local issues during every part of her campaign.

'I want to continue being a hard working local MP and speak up for Norwich.'

Mrs Hempsall, who has lived in Acle since 2005, said it was a 'privilege' to have been selected by the Conservatives for Norwich South.

She said: 'I'm excited about getting out there. Being a former physiotherapist, I want to set the record straight that the Tories believe in the NHS. We are invested in it. It isn't there to be sold off.

'I also want to work with the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green on crime and homelessness issues.'

Mrs Hempsall added: 'My personal aim is to ensure that our country - and Norwich - gets the best possible deal, which is especially important in a constituency where the majority voted to remain.'

Both women said the decision by UKIP to not put up candidates for Norwich South and North while encouraging people to vote for the Tories was a good thing for the Conservative Party.

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