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Bray Parish Council election candidate pulls out of race to avoid splitting independent vote

An independent candidate in the Bray Parish Council elections has decided to bow out of the contest.

John Hudson will no longer canvass for votes in the election on Thursday, November 16 and will instead back fellow independent candidate Fiona Hattey to represent the Holyport ward.

The 65-year-old made the decision on Tuesday, but cannot remove his name from the ballot paper as it is too close to the election.

He lived in Holyport for 17 years and now lives in Rushington Avenue, Maidenhead.

Mr Hudson told the Advertiser that he thinks Fiona, 50, who has lived in the village nearly all her life, is best suited for the role.

The other candidate is 23-year-old Sunil Sharma, a foreign exchange broker, from Furze Platt who is standing for the Conservatives.

“Fiona Hattey is very well known in the village,” said John.

“I hoped I would have had a good chance but I don’t want two independent candidates because it would split the independent vote and give the Conservative candidate more of a chance.

“There is no need and no place for party politics at a parish level – it is not a stepping stone for a political career.”

The leader of Royal Borough and Bray Parish Council member Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) was out campaigning with Mr Sharma on Saturday.

“At the end of the day it should be who is best to represent a community,” said Cllr Dudley.

“There are people who have their politics on the parish council but you don’t bring national politics into it.

“Sunil lives with his mum and dad and I am sure if he could buy a house in Holyport he would. He is young so I think he can represent the views of younger people in the parish.”

Mr Hudson says he will not send out any more leaflets about the election and is even considering standing outside the polling station to tell people he’s not standing any more.

There will also be an election for the Bray Village ward of the parish council on the same day.

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