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Editor launches fresh bid to serve on council he covers

Neil SpeightAn editor who previously stood for election as a UKIP candidate has launched a fresh bid to become an Independent councillor.

Neil Speight, who edits Thurrock Nub News, has announced his candidacy for Thurrock Council’s Stanford-le-Hope West ward, where he lives.

Neil, pictured, previously described himself as a lifelong Conservative but stood for UKIP in the 2016 council elections after claiming the Tory Party had “lost touch” with voters.

At the time, he was editing the Enquirer series in Essex and East London.

Neil said his new campaign for election is based on “honesty, integrity, common sense and accountability”.

Launching his manifesto, he wrote: “Having lived and raised my family in Stanford-le-Hope over almost the past 20 years I feel that the time has come to put something back into the local community.

“I have been shocked and appalled by the lack of responsibility and accountability by the current administration whose financial recklessness has brought about the biggest local authority debt in the UK.

“Make no mistake, we residents have been lied to, conned and forced to pick up the bill for profligacy beyond belief with botched projects like the A13 widening and the shambolic debacle of Stanford-le-Hope’s rail station redevelopment.

“I feel an independent voice that represents residents, not party politics and personal gain, is required.”

The ward in which Neil is standing is currently served by two Tory councillors.

He added: “In my time I have watched Labour, then Conservatives, Labour again and latterly more Tories argue politics, self-preservation and personal reward.

“We are all well aware of the many who have flipped backwards and forwards between parties and shown no loyalty to the electorate that ticked their particular political box.

“You have my word. Were you to show your faith in me and elect me on Thursday 4 May, I will not be switching my colours.

“If I am privileged enough and honoured enough to be your choice, I will take an independent viewpoint on every bit of casework and every decision I am called upon to vote on.

“It will be judged on its merits – and the benefit it brings to residents – not dogma.”

During his career, Neil has also edited the Thurrock Gazette, Holderness Gazette, Wakefield Express Series, Scarborough Evening News and Suffolk Free Press.