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People were not expecting a by-election here in north Shropshire. They have had Conservative MPs here since the 1830s and Owen Paterson was a popular figure who extended his majority to just under 23,000 in 2019.

On the day he resigned, following the investigation which found he had breached parliamentary rules on paid-lobbying, I stood on Church Street in the centre of the constituency’s largest town, Oswestry, and listened as multiple people told me “yes he had to go”, but it was a “bit of a

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