Stay connected

Issue 295 – Damon Hooton stands for MP

FROME’S mayor will stand for parliament in the forthcoming general election.

Cllr Damon Hooton has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to contest the Swindon South seat. He has been a district councillor since 2003 and a town councillor since 2007. He currently works in Frome’s Sainsbury’s store and previously spent 23 years in the army. He is married to fellow councillor Clare Hudson, and the couple have three sons.
Cllr Hooton said, “I put myself forward. After working with Frome’s MP David Heath for a number of years someone said ‘Why not go for it yourself’, and I did.” David Heath acted as one of cllr Hooton’s referees for the candidacy, which he beat four other prospective candidates to achieve.
Cllr Hooton said, “I think with politics you have three options, you can say ‘No, politics is not for me’, you can be happy with your representation or you can have some form of ambition. If it doesn’t happen then at least I won’t die wondering.”
At the last general election the Liberal Democrats finished third behind Labour, who won, and the Conservatives, trailing by more than 4,000 votes.
“I’ll be looking to close that gap,” said cllr Hooton. “Who knows, with things going the way they are it’s a hard one to call.”
Cllr Hooton said that he will be standing on a platform of a fairer tax system, accountability for politicians, green issues and health. He’s looking forward to the fight ahead, and has already started campaigning.
He said, “I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s so nice to have a new challenge and a bigger challenge. I’ve had a very positive comments on the doorsteps, and I’ve only had one door slammed in my face so far!”
Cllr Hooton was adamant that he would still be very much involved in Frome during the campaign. He said, “I’m not going to neglect my council responsibilities or my mayoral responsibilities. Swindon must work around Frome, not the other way around. I don’t want to alienate those people who have elected me. Realistically, if things go the way that they are expected to, I want to be able to return with good grace.”