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11 September 2014, 12:20
A former sitcom actor is hoping to be the Tory candidate at the by-election in Essex triggered by Douglas Carswell's defection to Ukip.
The Conservatives will hold an open primary meeting to allow Clacton voters to choose the party's candidate for the October 9 contest.
Actor Giles Watling, who played Oswald the vicar in the show Bread, and Essex councillor Sue Lissimore are vying for the role.
Mr Watling, 61, 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.
Simon Martin-Redman, chairman of Clacton Conservative Association, said the decision to hold an open primary, where the candidate will be selected by registered local residents, demonstrated a commitment to democracy.
He said: "It is to give people a democratic voice. Mr Carswell was foisted on his (Ukip) association, even though he says he believes in democracy."
Mr Martin-Redman urged local residents to register in order to take part in the open primary at Clacton Town Hall on Thursday.
Meanwhile he dismissed as an "irrelevance" the decision by Tendring councillors Dawn and Michael Skeels to follow Mr Carswell in defecting to Ukip