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Yarmouth Tory and Labour candidates clash over ‘dither and delay’ Brexit letter

PUBLISHED: 13:55 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:27 26 November 2019

Mike Smith-Clare (left), a Labour general election candidate, who is fighting Brandon Lewis�s Conservative seat in Great Yarmouth said he would not be giving Mr Lewis the solution to Brexit in response to a standared letter sent out by Tory candidates. Picture: submitted/Denise Bradley

Mike Smith-Clare (left), a Labour general election candidate, who is fighting Brandon Lewis�s Conservative seat in Great Yarmouth said he would not be giving Mr Lewis the solution to Brexit in response to a standared letter sent out by Tory candidates. Picture: submitted/Denise Bradley

submitted/Denise Bradley

A Labour general election candidate has tagged as “strange” a standard letter sent out by all Tory candidates asking their opponents to confirm where they stand on Brexit.

Mike Smith-Clare who is fighting Brandon Lewis's Conservative seat in Great Yarmouth said he had fired back a series of questions in response, but would not be giving Mr Lewis the solution his party had been trying to find for three-and-a-half years.

The move comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declared his Brexit position as "neutral".

The letters ask each Labour candidate if they will 'help get Brexit done', whether they will remain neutral in a second referendum, and if not how they will campaign.

It says: "If I'm elected, I will back the great new deal that Boris Johnson has already agreed with the EU.

"Britain will be out of the EU by the end of January, giving families and businesses the certainty they need to plan for the future.

"However, your position as Jeremy Corbyn's candidate for Great Yarmouth appears unclear and needs urgent clarification to help local people make their choice in this election."

It adds: "There must be no more dither and delay."

However Mr Smith-Clare said Brexit was not a doorstep issue and that if Mr Lewis wanted answers he could have asked him face-to-face at last week's East Coast College hustings, which he did not attend.

"It seems a strange one to me," he said.

"If he had come along to the hustings last week he could have asked me himself.

"We are out and about campaigning and talking to people, that is where you get the answers and where you have the great conversations.

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"If Brandon is looking for an answer I am not going to give it.

"My response to him is 'get out and do your job', it's not for me to give out the answers.

"If he had come along to the hustings he would know how I feel, but he didn't."

Labour's strategy is to negotiate a new deal with the EU and to put it to voters in a referendum.

There are seven candidates standing in Great Yarmouth ahead of the general election on December 12.

They are:

Dave Harding - Veterans and People's Party

James Joyce - Liberal Democrats

Anne Killett - Green

Brandon Lewis - Conservative

Margaret McMahon-Morris - Independent

Adrian Myers - Independent

Mike Smith-Clare - Labour

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