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Conservative leader David Cameron heads for Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 07:58 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:04 06 July 2010

David Cameron

David Cameron

Conservative leader David Cameron is in Norwich on Monday in what could be the opening salvo of the forthcoming by-election campaign to succeed Ian Gibson.

Conservative leader David Cameron is in Norwich on Monday in what could be the opening salvo of the forthcoming by-election campaign to succeed Ian Gibson.

Mr Cameron will be holding a “Cameron Direct” event - a “town hall”-style meeting where members of the public are invited to pose questions on any topic they like.

The one-hour question-and-answer session is not open to Conservative Party members as the idea is to appeal to hard-to-reach voters.

Events are organised with only a week's notice, and while taking place in the neighbouring Norwich South constituency, it is thought the Tory leader may be out and about in other parts of the city beforehand as the election campaign gets under way, informally at least.

The Tories are in pole position to snatch the seat from Labour after Dr Gibson's decision to quit in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal.

But other parties are also fighting hard in the belief that the seat may

be won with as little as 30pc of the vote.

The Greens, who met last night to discuss their selection strategy, believe they could force an upset after topping the poll in the local and European elections in Norwich.

And nominations for those wishing to stand for the Lib Dems close today with the party hoping to have a candidate in place in a week's time.

Labour's National Executive Committee, whose “star chamber” members decided to bar Dr Gibson from standing for the party at the next election, will draw up a list of potential candidates from which the city Labour Party will select the person they want to succeed him.

Antony Little, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Norwich South, said: “We're really pleased David Cameron is coming to Norwich. It's a great opportunity for everyone - of any political persuasion - to come along and raise their issues, questions and concerns.

“Across the country, there are real concerns over issues such as the cost of living, including the pressure on homeowners and the pressure on small shops and businesses, and all these issues can be raised.

“But it is the members of the public who set the agenda for the evening - whatever the question, issue or concern, it will be answered.”

The 6.30pm event at the Hewett School's Walter Roy Theatre is free and open to all local residents, but tickets must be obtained in advance. To apply, e-mail cameron direct@norwichconservatives.com.

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