Julie Girling, the MEP for the South West who quit the Conservatives and then pulled out from being a Change UK candidate* in order not to split the Remain vote, has now called for Remainers to vote Liberal Democrat.
Her call for Remainers to vote Liberal Democrat in the South West matches that from Gina Miller and her new tactical voting website.
Julie Girling said:
The Liberal Democrats scored a huge success in last week’s local elections, gaining more than 160 seats across the South West. I have respect for [Green MEP] Molly Scott-Cato and wish her well, but the facts are that the Lib Dems have always been a strongly pro-European party and are clearly the strongest Remain party here.
Across the South West the Liberal Democrats have just elected more than six times the number of councillors in the local elections compared to the Greens and now have more than five times the number of seats. The Lib Dems are very clearly the lead Remain party in the South West.
Brexit would be a disaster for the South West, but it’s not too late to stop it. I have no party political axe to grind here, I’m simply responding to the large number of constituents who have asked me for advice when considering their vote. In my view, the best way to get a People’s Vote to stop Brexit is to vote Lib Dem. That will send a very clear message to Mrs May and Mr Corbyn. This is what I will be doing.
I urge other Remain voters to vote Lib Dem to stop Brexit.
Caroline Voaden, lead candidate for the Lib Dems in the South West, said,
Julie Girling’s endorsement for the Liberal Democrats is very welcome and marks a significant moment in our election campaign. Julie is quite right; the Lib Dem message is simple and clear: Vote Lib Dem to Stop Brexit.
We must make sure that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn hear that message loud and clear when the votes are counted.
Welcoming her support, Vince Cable added:
With long experience in the European Parliament, Julie knows our MEPs get things done. Like so many Remain supporters she is now backing the Liberal Democrats and we warmly welcome her support.
Following stunning local election results across England, the Liberal Democrats are clearly the strongest Remain force in British politics.
You only get one vote in these elections so we’re appealing to people not to waste it. If you want to stop Brexit then back the Liberal Democrats.
* An odd footnote is the fuss over whether or not she technically ever joined Change UK. Regardless, she’s a former Conservative who talked warmly of Change UK but has now decided voting Lib Dem is the best Remain option in the South West.