Teacher challenges top Tory David Davis at poll

A TEACHER from Sabden is standing in the by-election sparked by the resignation of senior Tory MP David Davis.

Grace Astley (49) is standing as an Independent candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election on July 10th with a manifesto of "common sense and values especially in education".

Mrs Astley, who has taught at Sabden Primary School and Witton Park High School, Blackburn, as a specialist dyslexia teacher, said she had always been interested in politics and referred to the infamous Ribble Valley by-election of 1991 when Liberal Democrat Michael Carr overturned a Tory majority of 20,000 to win the seat.

If she wins, committed Christian Mrs Astley plans to live in the constituency and would appreciate any help people could offer with canvassing, financial support or prayers.

Ex-shadow home secretary Mr Davis quit to generate debate on civil liberties, particularly the Government's 42-day detention limit for terror suspects. He will fight to regain his seat on a platform of defending "British liberties".

He will stand against 25 other candidates, half Independents, including David Laurence Bishop representing the Church of the Militant Elvis Party, Gemma Dawn Garrett of the Miss Great Britain Party and David Icke, for whom there is no party listed. The Liberal Democrats and Labour are not contesting the seat.

Mr Davis previously won a 5,116 majority in the East Riding of Yorkshire constituency.