Shropshire Star

Reform candidate launches North Shropshire by-election campaign with pledge to residents

The Reform UK candidate for the North Shropshire by election has launched her campaign saying local people deserved an independent champion.

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Kirsty Walmsley is standing for Reform UK in the North Shropshire by-election

Kirsty Walmsley, who lives in Wem, was joined at the launch in Oswestry by the leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice.

He left his own by-election campaigning in Bexley and Sidcup to declare Mrs Walmsley a wonderful candidate on the day the Government officially triggered the process to elect Owen Paterson's replacement.

Speaking to a gathering at the foot of the town's motte and bailey castle, Mrs Walmsley revealed that after being elected to the now-defunct Oswestry Borough Council at the age of 21 - becoming the youngest councillor in the country in the process - she has since gone on to work in parliament as a caseworker for three MPs.

"In all honesty my experience of both local and national Government left me cynical about the world of politics. The reason I have put myself forward to stand as a candidate is because I believe the people of North Shropshire deserve an independent champion who truly knows and cares about the area," she said.

The leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice, joined Mrs Walmsley in Oswestry

"I will never be forced or pressured into voting strategically as we have seen in the recent Government debacle. Our party believes its MPs should be free to act in the interest of their constituents first and foremost," she said.

Mr Tice accused the government of what he called "Con-socialism" of high taxes and a nanny state.

He said Reform UK was standing on three main issues, to cut taxes for the less well off, to ensure there were no NHS waiting lists and that health care was free at the point of delivery and to ensure cheaper electricity.

Mr Tice said the time had come to stop investment in the HS2 rail project and ensure electric cars were more affordable.

A small crowd gathered next to the castle

He also added that, while working to ensure Britain invested in areas such as tidal and nuclear power, it should use the shale gas supplies available underground.

Mrs Walmsley is from a family deeply involved in politics with her father, Keith Barrow, former leader of Shropshire Council and mother, Joyce Barrow, a current Conservative Shropshire councillor.

Mr Barrow said he was no longer in the Conservative Party.

"We have always been used to fierce but friendly political debate in our family and this is no different," he said.

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