With the selection of Phil Hutty as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Central Devon the Lib Dems can now push for the new seat (after the false start of previous candidate Sally Morgan – now part of Richard Younger-Ross’s “team”– who threw in the towel amid leaked emails and arguments over party fees). We caught up with Phil to find out more him, and why he’s standing in Central Devon
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and brought up (including a number of years in the village of Dousland near Yelverton), and have spent most of his working life, in Devon. I am a qualified social worker, and have had many years experience as a freelance Independent Reviewing officer, overseeing the work of child care social workers. I met and married Rachel in 1991 and we have one son.
How long have you been in the party?
I have been a member of the party since 1989, troubled by the then Conservative Government’s attitude to social care and wholesale privatisation of public utilities without responsibility, which left new companies like South West Water being able to charge the highest bills in the country.
Since then I cut has cut his political teeth as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in South West Devon. And in my work for a national charity, helped vulnerable young people have a voice in the corridors of power.
Why are you standing?
I am standing because I want to make a difference, and at this election more than ever before we really do stand a chance of radically changing the political system forever, putting people, not spin doctors, in charge of our country.
What do you think your chances are?
Well, I do know that it will be a clear battle between the Tories and us, and with a strong Lib Dem tradition in many areas of this new constituency, I believe it will be close. Of course I won’t be taking anything for granted and I am now out every day meeting people and hearing what they want a new constituency MP to do.
• Is the new constituency of Central Devon is a two-horse race, can the Lib Dems pull it off, or will Tory Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Mel Stride to victory (geddit?). (This is a Labour candidate – Digby Trout – but we’re not sure whether he exists.) Comments below, please.
Stay tuned for Phil Hutty’s column on the People’s Republic of South Devon