Fellow candidates to become Melton’s new MP have sent their condolences to the family of Anthony Watchorn, who sadly died yesterday (Wednesday) just a fortnight before he was due to stand as an Independent at the General Election.
We reported yesterday that Mr Watchorn, who was 69, and who was a farmer at Whissendine, had been taken ill on Tuesday and passed away at Peterborough Hospital the following morning.
He leaves a partner and three children.
Alicia Kearns, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the Conservative Part for the Rutland and Melton seat Tweeted: “My heart goes out to all the friends and family of Anthony Watchorn.
“Following his deeply sad and sudden death, I will cease all campaigning here in Rutland and Melton for the rest of the week out of respect to him and his family.”
The Rutland and Melton Labour branch Tweeted on behalf of their PPC: “Andy Thomas’s thoughts and condolences are with Anthony Watchorn’s family.”
And Dr Carol Weaver, candidate for the Liberal Democrats, posted yesterday on social media after hearing about Mr Watchorn’s passing: “So sorry to hear this news earlier today and sad he did not have his say in this election.
“Many condolences to his family and friends in Whissendine and beyond.”
Melton Borough Council, which is managing the December 12 election for the Rutland and Melton seat, have released a statement.
It reads: “We have been advised of the death of Mr Watchorn, who was standing as an Independent candidate for the Rutland and Melton Constituency.
“In such circumstances, and in line with Representation of the People Act 1983, we can confirm that the election will continue as normal and Mr Watchorn’s name shall remain on the ballot paper.”
Mr Watchorn was due to debate with the five remaining candidates to become the new Rutland and Melton MP at a hustings event at Melton Baptist Church on Monday.
That will still go ahead with a start time of 7.30pm.
The other candidates for the seat are Alastair McQuillan (Green Party) and Marietta King (Ukip).