Women’s Equality Party stands down for Liberal Democrats in two seats

Adding to the Unite for Remain seat arrangements, along with the Lib Dems standing down for three independents, now comes news of a further arrangement:

Candidates for the Women’s Equality party (WEP) are to step aside in two constituencies where they were standing to highlight the treatment of women, as part of a pact in which the Liberal Democrats have agreed to adopt some of the party’s policies.

The seats include one in central London vacated by the Tory Mark Field, where the Liberal Democrat Chuka Umunna is now being endorsed by the WEP after his party agreed to push for amendments to laws to give the public powers to eject MPs guilty of harassment…

As part of the same agreement, the WEP is backing the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield Hallam, where Labour suspended the MP Jared O’Mara after the emergence of a series of sexist and homophobic online posts written before he was elected. He later announced his resignation. [The Guardian]

The Women’s Equality Party has been carving out an interesting approach to electoral strategy: picking seats with high profile controversial MPs to stand in, but then also being willing to stand down to back the main challenger as long as the challenger agrees on key policy areas. It’s a hybrid between being a pressure group and a political party that is unusual in British politics.


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