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Election candidates to face grilling from business community

Candidates preparing to face the Harrogate electorate in next May’s General Election will have their first opportunity to impress this September.

Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce has invited the known candidates to an Election Call on Monday, 15 September 2014. They will face questions from the business community, allowing local voters to hear their policies and get a preview of their campaigns for the first time.

Andrew Jones, the current Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, has confirmed he will attend, along with Helen Flynn from the Liberal Democrats and UKIP’s David Simister.

Chamber Chief Executive Brian Dunsby said: Although the General Election is still several months away, there is already a sense that we are gearing up to it nationally.

This meeting will give business people in Harrogate and Knaresborough the opportunity to bring a local focus to the upcoming campaigns. It will be the first time all the candidates who have been declared so far are in one room, fielding the same questions and seeking to impress voters.

We expect our members and guests from the business community will be interested to find out their policies on things like transport, the economy and local development – but the meeting will be open for questions, so any topic could come up. Chamber members will be invited to submit questions in advance

The Harrogate & Knaresborough seat has been held by Conservative Andrew Jones since 2010, when he beat Lib Dem candidate Claire Kelley by just over 1,000 votes. Prior to that, the MP was Lib Dem Phil Willis (now Lord Willis of Knaresborough) who had been the town’s MP since famously beating Conservative high flyer Norman Lamont in the 1997 General Election.

The Election Call takes place at Rudding Park on Monday, 15 September 2014 at 6pm.

Non-members who have not been to a Chamber meeting before are welcome to attend for free. (There is a £15 charge for those who have attended before). However, as capacity is limited, registration is required in advance: anyone planning to attend should email by Friday, 12 September 2014.

For more information, visit and click on Meetings.

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