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Councillor making bid for Westminster
12:30pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
A Malmesbury town councillor is hoping to become the new MP for North Wiltshire after applying to become a candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
Town and Wiltshire councillor Simon Killane says the decision has not been made to undermine sitting Tory MP James Gray, as some have suggested, after the pair were embroiled in a dispute over the calling-in of the recent Waitrose store plans.
“People shouldn’t be confused about what I am doing here,” he said.
“The campaign is not about James Gray; it’s about whether my party thinks I am an appropriate candidate to represent them and the party at the next elections. I don’t want to upset anybody in my party; I just want to get my party to support me.”
Coun Killane publicly criticised Mr Gray over his decision to ask the Secretary of State to review the Waitrose planning application after it was approved unanimously at Wiltshire Council’s northern area planning meeting in May.
Planning minister Nick Boles confirmed in July he would not be reviewing the decision, and a Waitrose store has been approved in Malmesbury.
The pair had a war of words on their personal websites with Coun Killane claiming Mr Gray was ‘ill-informed’ in his bid to get the Government to intervene in the Waitrose plans.
Despite their differences, Coun Killane insists his parliamentary candidate bid is about showing that politics is a place for anyone who is passionate enough.
“One person can have a huge effect,” said the father-of-three.
“This is a chance for ordinary people to get themselves into the political system to change things.
“I will offer the best opportunity we have ever had to have a unique, different and refreshing politics, very different but potentially very successful.”
Applications for the Lib Dem candidacy close on August 23 with a shortlist due to be agreed and applicants notified by the end of the month.
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