UK Politics

Two Conservative councillors to fight Clacton primary

Two Conservative councillors have been shortlisted to take part in an open primary to decide who will contest the Clacton by-election.

Actor Giles Watling and businesswoman Sue Lissimore will take part in a hustings before a vote on Thursday.

The by-election, to be held on 9 October, was triggered by the defection of the former Tory MP Douglas Carswell to the UK Independence Party.

Labour and the Green Party have also chosen candidates to represent them.

If he wins the contest, Mr Carswell will become the first UKIP MP to be elected to Parliament.

The Conservatives have said the decision to hold an open primary - where all registered voters in the constituency will be able to vote irrespective of party affiliation - showed its commitment to give people a "democratic voice".

Among other roles, Mr Watling, 61, played the vicar Oswald in the 1980s sitcom Bread. He has been a councillor on Tendring District Council since 2007 and is married with two children.

Essex county councillor Mrs Lissimore, 47, is a mother of three who works for her family business.

The result of the vote is expected at about 21:00 BST.

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