Two political parties have named the people they will put forward to challenge long-standing Rutland and Melton MP, Sir Alan Duncan, at the next General Election.
With continued instability at Westminster in the wake of the ongoing wrangling over Brexit there has been speculation that the nation could go to the polls again before Christmas.
If that happens, the Conservative Party will once again be represented by Sir Alan, who has already signalled his intention to attempt to extend his tenure in the seat which began way back in 1992.
One of his opponents will be former university lecturer, Dr Carol Weaver, for the Liberal Democrats.
A campaigner for the party for many years, she is currently chair of the non-partisan Leicestershire and Rutland European Movement.
Dr Weaver, who knows the constituency well, having lived in both Rutland and Leicestershire, opposes Brexit and does not want residents to lose their European citizenship or the benefits membership of the EU brings.
She also cares strongly about the planet, the environment, the NHS, including mental health and social care, and education, including special needs and universities.
Dr Weaver says she is afraid that, as a country, we are losing our liberal values and our rights.
She said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate and promise to listen carefully to the concerns of all residents and keep them informed.
“The Rutland and Melton Lib Dems are proud to be the leading ‘Remain’ party in the region and I agree with our leader Jo Swinson’s policy to revoke the Article 50 notification to withdraw from the EU, but only if we receive a mandate to do so from the public.
“Revoking is the only way to stop Brexit quickly.”
Dr Weaver added: “We are not a party with just one policy.
“We are excited to have just outlined our policies for a green economy, a fairer and safer society, ring-fenced money for the NHS and social care and increased funding for schools and vocational education.
“As a society we have been losing our values and even debating if politicians in government are entitled to lie to the public and break the law for their own gains.
“Our party believes in integrity, transparency, the rule of law and the need to reform the system and bring back trust.
“Let’s bring an end to the current political extremism.”
Someone with polar opposite political views is forces veteran, Jim Bennett, who has been announced as the Brexit Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Rutland and Melton.
Mr Bennett, who was born in Scotland, served with the RAF for 37 years and has lived and worked in the East Midlands for most of this century.
Saying he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to stand in the consituency, he said: “I want to make sure that Melton’s world renowned pork pies can be traded throughout the globe, free from the encumbrance of any EU regulations and restrictions.
“What’s more, I will campaign tirelessly for a clean break Brexit as this will give us the greatest chance of world-class free trading success.”
“With a clean break Brexit, we can bring huge prosperity into our midst, amongst many other things, helping our cash-strapped public services achieve unparalleled proficiency.
“Particularly in the Rutland and Melton constituency, a vote for the Brexit Party is the only realistic chance for voters who are desperate for us to leave the hated and undemocratic European Union, and achieve the clean break Brexit that we all so desperately need.”
Mr Bennett studied for a BSc (Hons) degree with the Open University and then worked in schools with children with additional needs for 11 years until retiring.
He says this has given him a special interest in supporting young people who find the education system difficult to manage.
During this time he also served 10 years as a JP in a magistrates court and a decade as a parish councillor, including two years as council chair.
Mr Bennett added: “Whether you’re a farmer or a factory worker, a stall holder or a soldier, a proprietor or a pensioner or whether you’re a millennial or a midwife, my job will be to make your life get a whole lot better.
“That means not only helping to deliver a clean break Brexit, but also cutting crime in our neighbourhoods and speeding through our villages, improving public transport throughout the constituency and beyond, avoiding unsightly housing developments in our glorious countryside, improving broadband connectivity in even the tiniest village, and increasing local job prospects and wages for everyone.”
The Rutland and Melton Labour Party said it was in the process of selecting its prospective parliamentary candidate.