Shropshire Star

North Shropshire by-election: Reform candidate Kirsty Walmsley tests positive for Covid

Reform UK's candidate for the North Shropshire by-election has tested positive for coronavirus, the party's leader has said.

Kirsty Walmsley, pictured launching her campaign in Oswestry

Kirsty Walmsley, the daughter of former Conservative Shropshire Council leader Keith Barrow, is at home self-isolating as a result.

The positive test comes in the final week of campaigning for the by-election, which was prompted by the resignation of Owen Paterson after he was found to have broken paid lobbying rules.

Reform UK leader's Richard Tice told BBC News: "I can actually say that having been slightly unwell she has tested this morning positive for Covid, so obviously she will be remaining at home and indeed we're obviously following the Government's guidance and the protocols removing our campaign team who are with her.

"But I'm pleased to say that we have new activists who haven't been in North Shropshire who can therefore come to the county and continue the positive campaign that she has been running, which has been around the need to send a message to Westminster Boris Johnson the Prime Minister is now seen as a liability on the doorstep."

Fourteen candidates are standing in the by-election on Thursday, with the Lib Dems now the bookmakers' favourites despite the seat being a traditional Conservative stronghold which Mr Paterson held with a majority of 23,000 in 2019.

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