JAMES Cleverly has defended Giles Watling as a "hardworking local MP" and says a political "circus is coming to town" in Clacton. 

Home Secretary James Cleverly and Conservative candidate Giles Watling were out campaigning in the seaside town on Friday.

The Home Secretary described Mr Watling as a "great champion for the local area". 

Mr Cleverly said: "I know this is probably going to really upset Nigel. I don’t really spend much of my time thinking about his career and his successes or multiple failures.

"The bottom line is I’ve campaigned with Giles since he stood in the by-elections and I've come down here every General Election because he is a good friend and a great champion for the local area and I want to see him re-elected. He is Clacton, Clacton, Clacton, Clacton.

"We have other candidates who have turned up at the 11th hour and suddenly Clacton is on their minds in a way that it wasn’t six weeks ago.

"From the conversations we have had with people while we were walking around this afternoon, I think local people can see that, and I think they’re quite amused by the whole circus coming to town and I don’t think they are fooled for a minute.

"The choice here is really simple. You have a hardworking local MP who has roots in the local area and a Conservative government who is cracking down on antisocial behaviour.

"People do not want, and this has come through loud and clear, people do not want a Labour government.

"They know instinctively if they fall for the smoke and mirrors act of Nigel Farage then what they are going to end up with is a Labour government which is going to hurt them."

Mr Cleverly also addressed the issues in the constituency and stated Mr Watling is the best man for the job. 

He said: "Genuinely Giles seems to know everybody and everybody seems to know Giles.

"We were chatting to a guy who was fixing up his car and actually, this is the thing, you genuinely have someone who is local and who has served their community for years and years in politics and out of politics and people know him.

"Of course, they want us to sort out immigration and they want us to bring down taxes and they want us to make sure unemployment stays low and they want opportunities for their young people, but they also want a local MP who actually cares about the local area and that really is coming across."

Regarding crime, Mr Cleverly said: "What I have tended to find is that people like the fact that we have more police officers.

"People want those police officers on the beat preventing retail crime and cracking down on antisocial behaviour."

He continued: "They want to be protected from the tax rises that we know the Labour Party will bring in, and they can squeal all they like but the bottom line is, as night follows day, Labour parties put up taxes and they increase unemployment.

"In a place where there are plenty of people who do not have huge amounts of welfare, they count the pennies - they work hard for the money that they earn."

Giles Watling and Nigel Farage are standing to be MP for Clacton for the Conservatives and Reform UK respectively. They are up against Matthe Bensilum (Lib Dem), Craig Jamieson (Climate Party), Tony Mack (Ind), Natasha Osben (Grn), Jovan Owusu-Nepaul (Lab), Tasos Papanastasiou (Heritage Party) and Andrew Pemberton (UKIP).