Election round-up: Farron aims to replace Labour, Cable’s return, new candidates and two departing MPs

Farron: Lib Dems want to leapfrog Labour

Tim Farron has claimed that the Liberal Democrats can replace Labour as the main opposition force because Jeremy Corbyn’s party is locked in a “death spiral”.

Although the Lib Dems were virtually wiped out at the last election, he insisted that the extraordinary flux in western democracies could deliver a tide of seats for his party. [The i]

Vince Cable is back as an economic sage

Lib Dems select Elizabeth Riches in Ming Campbell’s old seat

Scottish Liberal Democrats have announced that Elizabeth Riches will be the party’s candidate in North East Fife at the forthcoming general election…

Mrs Riches, who also served as leader of the opposition in Fife Council for ten years and deputy leader of Fife Council from 2007-2012, added: “I will use my experience as a teacher, councillor for the East Neuk and deputy leader of Fife Council to serve the best interests of the area.

“Local people rejected independence by a large margin and should have an MP who can speak for them. Scottish independence is not in the interests of the academic, fishing, farming and tourism sectors.”…

Menzies Campbell said: “Elizabeth Riches is outstanding and will be an outstanding Member of Parliament for North East Fife. I have known her for many years and have admired her tenacity, political judgement and energy. She will be a tremendous advocate for every corner of the constituency.” [Fife Today]

Stephen Gilbert adds to the list of Lib Dem ex-MPs restanding

As I briefly touched on previously:

Former MP Stephen Gilbert has announced that he will contest the St Austell & Newquay seat for the Liberal Democrats in the snap election on 8 June.

Stephen will be seeking to win the seat back from Conservative Steve Double who won it in 2015…

Stephen Gilbert, was the MP for St Austell & Newquay from 2010 to 2015 and has previously been a Councillor in the local area. He lives in St Austell and is from a clay-mining family from Nanpean.

Stephen acknowledged local Councillor Joanna Kenny who had been chosen as an interim parliamentary candidate for the seat, but who following an injury has stood aside for Stephen to run again. “Joanna is a hard working local campaigner, and I am grateful for the work Joanna has done in the seat over the last two years,” he said. [ITV]

You’ll note that this makes for another seat where the snap election candidate selected last year for the Liberal Democrats has had to pull out. Yeovil is also in that category, but it’s former candidate Daisy Benson has taken up a new role and important role in the party:

Liberal Democrat Western Counties Region announce the appointment of Daisy Benson as Director of Member & Supporter Mobilisation

Gavin Grant, Chairman of Western Counties region commented:

“I shared the disappointment of many that the timing of this general election denied Daisy Benson the chance to win back Yeovil. But I am delighted to announce that within the time available to her, Daisy will use her skills in this key syrategic role in our West Country Campaign team.

“Since the snap General Election was called 13,000 people have joined our party, over 1,100 of them in our battleground of the west. Even more people are coming forward offering to help our campaign.

“Daisy’s unique and proven strategic skills in mobilising, motivating and marshalling‎ this force is mission critical to our success in the West.

“She will help turn this latent army into an unstoppable force on the ground in the key places where it will really count.”

Daisy Benson added:

“Naturally I was disappointed to have to step away from fighting to win Yeovil but I simply could not devote the total commitment and time needed to do that right now.

“However I can use what time I have to take on this role in mobilising our members and supporters, and am delighted to do so.

“As well as hrlping in winning back Yeovil this means that I can play my part to help ensure that the West Country is represented by MPs who are open, tolerant and united.”

As reported previously, one of the other seats where the snap candidate has had to pull out is Bath, where there is now a short but intense selection battle after twenty people applied to be the Lib Dem candidate.

But for all these bumps in the Lib Dems, there’s much greater problems with candidates in the Conservatives…

Two Conservative MPs dropped

An MP is standing down after reportedly telling students that homosexuality was “wrong” and “dangerous to society”.

Andrew Turner, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, was said to have made the remarks on a visit to a college in Newport.

They were quickly posted on social media by one of the students, Esther Poucher, 16, who expressed “outrage”. [BBC]


David Mackintosh has decided to not seek re-election. As Guido reported last week, Mackintosh was facing deselection after he became embroiled in a football club loans scandal. He reportedly infuriated members after he refused to resign. Gudio also told how he had been brutally trolled by the local association which held the selection meeting at the very same football club. [Guido Fawkes]

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