THE grandson of a former headmaster at Parwich School is to become the youngest candidate in the Derbyshire Dales’ history is to fight the Parliamentary seat held by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at next year’s General Election.
Derbyshire Dales Liberal Democrats have unanimously selected 21-year-old local man Ben Fearn, currently in his final year as a student at Manchester University.
Born and bred in the Dales and the grandson of former Liberal county and district councillor the late John Leslie Fearn, headmaster in Parwich throughout the 1960s, Ben was adopted at a hustings meeting in Darley Dale last week.
The young politician, who turns 22 in May, immediately pledged to battle to give the Derbyshire Dales a voice.
He said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to be given the opportunity to fight to be the MP of a beautiful part of the world I am proud to call home.
“Despite the high profile of the sitting MP, it is troubling to note that the Derbyshire Dales receives less government cash than any other district in the county.
“There’s a perception that the Dales is a well-off area of the UK, but the reality is very different. On average, wages in the Dales are the lowest in the county and our town centres in particular desperately need help.
“I want to fly the flag for the Derbyshire Dales and to replace safe-seat complacency with a new energy to reinvigorate this district.”
Chairman of Derbyshire Dales Liberal Democrats, Darley Dale councillor David Fearn (no relation) said: “I worked alongside Ben’s grandfather John Leslie Fearn, who was the most genuine human being I have ever met.
“Ben is from the same mould, and what he lacks in years he more than makes up for with remarkable grasp for politics at all levels.”