The local Liberal Democrats report:
Former Liberal Democrat MEP Caroline Voaden, leader of our party in the European Parliament, has been selected by local members to fight the next General Election in Totnes constituency.
Caroline has lived in the constituency for 12 years and is currently the Chief Executive of Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services, the main provider of support to survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Devon and Torbay.
She was selected enthusiastically by local party members to fight one of the party’s most winnable seats in Devon and Cornwall – of all the party’s Conservative facing seats in the region Totnes has the smallest majority after St Ives. It was briefly held by the party in 2019 when Sarah Wollaston MP joined the Lib Dems.
Caroline said, “I’m campaigning to win this seat at the next election and I aim to speak for everyone who is tired of the damage being done to our communities, our businesses and our environment by this Conservative government. We have seen in recent by-elections that people are fed up with being taken for granted, and they have put their trust in Liberal Democrats to listen to them and represent their interests. I am honoured and excited to have been selected to fight for the constituents of Totnes.
“Our farmers, who are the backbone of the rural economy, have been let down by successive Conservative governments, and our fishing community has been lied to. Shopkeepers and small businesses desperately need support. That’s why I will be championing investment that’s equitable, sustainable and goes where it is most needed.
“Thousands of people can’t find a decent, affordable home here, yet the government chooses to make it easier to buy a second home than rent a first one. It’s impossible to get a dentist appointment and local medical facilities are stretched to breaking point, yet the government chooses to reward bankers and the top 1% of earners with tax breaks rather than prioritise the key workers we so vitally need.
“On top of all that, we watch aghast as Liz Truss’s government increases threats to biodiversity and environmental protections while people are literally getting sick from swimming in our beautiful river Dart because of sewage dumping. This vandalism of our natural world has to stop.
“I hear that people have had enough. They’re tired and angry. It’s time this country had a change of government and I will lead a campaign to make sure that change happens right here in Totnes constituency.”
Recent by-election wins by the Liberal Democrats in Tiverton & Honiton and North Shropshire have clearly shown that rural voters now view the party as the winning alternative to a Conservative party that has lost touch with voters concerned about decency and fairness.
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