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‘Voters are cross’ - Green candidate rues lack of election hustings in South West Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:58 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 December 2019

Green candidate Pallavi Devulapalli is looking to oust Liz Truss in South West Norfolk. Picture: West Norfolk Green Party

Green candidate Pallavi Devulapalli is looking to oust Liz Truss in South West Norfolk. Picture: West Norfolk Green Party

Archant

A parliamentary candidate has voiced her frustration at the lack of hustings in her constituency ahead of the general election.

Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, Liz Truss. Picture: Victoria PertusaConservative MP for South West Norfolk, Liz Truss. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Pallavi Devulapalli, who is standing for the Green Party in South West Norfolk, says there have not been any opportunities for voters to quiz candidates in an open forum.

The GP from Shouldham is looking to unseat international trade secretary Liz Truss, but believes the task has been made more challenging by the lack of public debate.

"It's a real shame there haven't been any hustings in South West Norfolk and a lot of voters I've spoken to are really cross as a result," said Dr Devulapalli.

"I'm still looking to organise something and will see if any of the other candidates are interested, but this is my first time standing and first time doing this.

"There is obviously social media but it's just not the same. With that you are in danger of being trapped in an echo chamber."

South West Norfolk has been a Conservative seat since it was wrestled from Labour in 1964 with a majority of just 123 votes, becoming far safer as the decades progressed.

Ms Truss, who replaced Christopher Fraser as Tory candidate in 2010, commanded a majority of 18,312 as she once again held on to the seat two years ago.

On December 12, Dr Devulapalli and Ms Truss will go up against Labour's Emily Blake, Josie Ratcliffe of the Liberal Democrats and Earl Elvis of Outwell from the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Dr Devulapalli says canvassing constituents for the first time has been a "fascinating" experience and says there are two main issues on everybody's lips.

"People are anxious, that is for sure, and it is mainly due to climate change and Brexit," she added.

"One group of people is really worried about climate change and whether politicians are doing enough. Another group cannot understand why Brexit isn't over and done with yet.

"Personally I think it would be good for the country to have a second referendum because a lot of people have changed their minds and there is new information available.

"As a GP I always ask people if they are sure and I look at Brexit in the same way."


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