Angela’s Off The Blocks

YourThurrock drops in on Angela’s blog to see how the campaign is going.

“Well we’re off! After weeks of speculation on the date it’s been confirmed that the General Election will be on the same day as the local council elections on Thursday May 6th.

It’s always a strange day when the election is called – almost a twilight zone! I’m still a Member of Parliament until the formal dissolution of Parliament and the business of Government continues until next Monday. One oddity is that although after Monday when we have the formal dissolution I will not be a Member of Parliament, I remain a Government minister until a new minister is appointed after the election. We always have to have a Government in place although controversial and non urgent decisions are usually put on hold.

At this stage there isn’t really much news about the election but the TV news channels have to fill their 24 hours. So at lunchtime I spoke to the viewers of BBC East and then at 3pm Anne Widdecombe and I were interviewed by John Sopel on BBC national news. As I answered my first question Anne W snorted, guffawed and commented throughout my comments – and then when I challenged her had the cheek to add “I didn’t interrupt you, so you mustn’t interrupt me”! What can you do but laugh!

This will be a tough election locally – the boundaries of the seat have changed and as great as it is to have my home of Pitsea back and welcome East Tilbury and Linford, I will miss Fryerns, St Martins and Lee Chapel North. I’ve had a lot of support, and dealt with a lot of issues in these areas over the last 13 years. I’ve got to know people, know the issues and will really miss being their representative. I’d like to sincerely thank all those that have supported me, kept me up to date and kept in touch over those years.

And to my new constituency that I hope to represent in Parliament, I promise that I will always work hard to represent your interests. We’ve achieved a lot in Basildon in the last 13 years and I’m sure that together we can continue to do so.

One of the nicest things for me about this election is that for the first time my mum and dad in Pitsea can vote for me – look for the house in Piercys with the biggest poster! It will be a closer call and although I start out as the sitting MP, the changes in the boundaries mean that I’m ‘the underdog’ and have to catch up with the Tories to win this seat.

From now until the election I’ll be out on the doorstep nearly every day, speaking to people about the local issues that matter. You can keep up with everything that happens on the campaign trail on this blog. I’m sure I’ll see you all soon.”

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