THE MAIN contenders are lining up in the battle to become the next MP for Truro and Falmouth.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have announced their candidates for the 2015 General Election. The current Conservative MP Sarah Newton confirmed she hoped to fight for the seat again and the deputy mayor of Truro will also contend the seat as an independent.
Hanna Toms, a Cornwall Council member for Falmouth has been chosen to stand for Labour while Simon Rix, Cornwall Council member for Bugle has been selected for the Liberal Democrats.
This will be the first time in a General Election for Ms Toms while Mr Rix has previously stood as a candidate in Croydon.
The gloves appear to have already come off in the political battle as Mrs Newton greeted news of her opponents’ selection with the statement: “As my work for Truro and Falmouth continues, I warmly congratulate Simon Rix and Hanna Toms on being selected to represent their parties in the seat.
“It is a significant responsibility to be chosen as a parliamentary candidate whether for the first time or as an experienced candidate from Croydon.’’
Mrs Newton, deputy chairman of the Conservative party, said more decisions about Cornwall were taken in Cornwall now than were in 2010.
“There is much more work for me to do and I relish the prospect of finishing the job I was elected to do,” she said.
Mr Rix, a 42-year-old business consultant from St Austell, was previously head of public engagement at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT).
He said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen. I am already working for local people here because they deserve a strong economy and a fair society, so every one of them can get on in life.”
Ms Toms, who was born in Truro and went to school at Roseland Community College, said she was “delighted” to have been selected to stand and described the coalition government as a “disaster for Cornwall”.
She said: “The whole of the UK is suffering from a cost of living crisis under this government, the cuts inflicted on local government are destroying the very fabric of our society, these cuts are hitting Cornwall hard as tourism and second homes make prices rise and rise while wages stay low.
“Falmouth has previously returned a Labour MP and I’ m delighted to be working to be the next.”
Loic Rich, deputy mayor of Truro, confirmed he will fight for the seat as an independent.
Mr Rich, a 40-year-old copywriter and former Richard Lander pupil, said: “I want to focus on the essentials. Helping to forge a strong regional and national economy, supporting small businesses and increased job opportunities across the constituency, campaigning for greater investment in local-needs housing and transport and helping to protect our diverse Cornish environment – to ensure a brighter future for the people of Truro and Falmouth.”