Conservatives target Leicester West as they launch 'Back Jack' election campaign

The Tories have officially launched their campaign to try to take the Leicester West seat off Labour in next month's General Election.

Conservative candidate Jack Hickey was joined by some 40 members and activists this weekend.

Read the full article in the Leicester Mercury

They included fellow Tory candidates Andrew Bridgen from North West Leicestershire, Ed Argar from Charnwood and county council leader Nick Rushton who led the Tories to victory in the recent local election.

Mr Hickey, a 24-year-old teacher from Thurnby Lodge, aims to overturn Labour candidate Liz Kendall's 7,203 majority from the last election in 2015.

The Conservatives are pushing resources, from the surrounding largely Tory supporting county, into the Leicester West seat as they consider it a winnable target.

Mr Hickey said: "The choice is clear for people in Leicester West. A vote for me is a vote for a strong and stable government under our Prime Minister Theresa May.

"A vote for Liz is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn and a coalition of chaos.

"Back Jack."

The Mercury asked Mr Hickey what local issues had been raised on the doorstep and what promises he had made.

He said: "People want improvement to the parks and open spaces.

"They also want to stop the Labour city council from trying to close the outdoor adventure playground schemes.

"People say we need more affordable housing and that is something a Conservatives will deliver.

"We have a shortage of school places and that is something that concerns parents - I am also personally passionate about trying to get more men teaching in primary schools to act as role models."

The Conservatives chances of taking the seat off Labour may have been dented by UKIP's decision to contest the seat. There were nearly 6,000 votes cast for Leicester West UKIP candidate Stuart Young in 2015.

Local UKIP bosses had initially considered stepping aside on June 8 because Mr Hickey had been a Leave campaigner in the EU referendum.

Conservatives were hoping those voters would this time support them but now Mr Young has decided to stand for UKIP again.