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War of words for Kelly

Kate Griggs, the UK's only Xtraordinary People party candidate, is taking on Education Secretary Ruth Kelly in her Bolton West constituency to publicise the plight of dyslexic pupils.

Ms Griggs said her family had to leave London for Somerset so her son Ted, 12, could attend a school that catered for his learning difficulty. His brother, Will, nine, is also dyslexic. "No matter how many teachers we train, without an adequate training module on dyslexia we will have a never-ending struggle," she said.

Ms Griggs, 42, who works for the dyslexia charity Xtraordinary People, will challenge Ms Kelly's 5,518 majority alongside candidates from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat, UK Independence and Veritas parties.

Labour MP Jim Cousins will be challenged by Clive Harding, a senior pastor at a pentecostal church and former RE teacher, who will stand for the Newcastle Academy With Christian Values party. It wants the academy in the city to be run by a coalition of five different Christian churches, rather than by Tory billionaire Lord Irvine Laidlaw, who is now in talks with the council.

Children's minister Margaret Hodge faces competition from Demetrious Panton, a victim of the child abuse scandal in Islington in the Seventies when the minister was council leader.

At the last election Richard Taylor, an independent candidate campaigning against ward closures at Kidderminster hospital, beat off opponents from the mainstream parties to win the seat.

ELECTION NEWS 12-13

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