In the week that saw the centenary of women being eligible to stand for Parliament, Liberal Democrat party members in the Arundel and South Downs constituency gave their overwhelming backing to Alison Bennett when they met at a hustings event in West Chiltington.
Alison Bennett, who has lived in the constituency since 2012, has been active in the local community since moving to Sussex. She has volunteered at the local children’s football club, her local school and the West Sussex County Council’s Children & Family Service. She campaigned passionately for Remain in Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint and was integral to recent Lib Dem electoral success in both county and district council elections.
She said that it had never been in her long-term plan to enter politics, but that changes in the world around her had compelled her to get involved:
The EU Referendum and the election of Donald Trump have seen grievance and fear drive people apart. When the world seems to be turning in the wrong direction, you have a choice to look away, or do what you can to make a difference where you live. This is what drives me.
On the electoral challenges that lie ahead, she added,
On the doorstep, voters tell me that they no longer want to vote for the Conservative Party but that they are fearful of what a Corbyn Government would mean. Right now, we need to be the people to fill that gap. This is a huge opportunity but also a responsibility.
Let’s grow this campaign from the ground up. Let’s work hard. Let’s work together. And know that we created a Liberal movement for Arundel & South Downs that we can all be proud of.
The current Arundel & South Downs MP is the Conservative, former Remainer, Nick Herbert. The next general election has to take place by 2022 but could be called at any time due to the current instability within the Conservative party.
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