In what’s thought to be a first in the UK, the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrat candidate has said he will not be standing in the upcoming snap election, an email to members revealed.
No official announcement has been made to the media, but a statement was sent to members at 7pm (Friday) when Nick Stuart explained,
“I will not be standing in this General Election on the Island. The Liberal Democrats nationally have decided that a electoral alliance with the Greens to maximise the remain vote is the best cause of action on the Isle of Wight.”
He went on to say,
“I am disappointed that you and other Islanders will not get the chance to vote for the Liberal Democrats given our unique policies and I realise that many of you will be unhappy about the lack of choice but I would urge you to recognise the critical issue of Brexit and know that our small step back will help other Liberal Democrat candidates around the UK. We hope you can respect what has been a deeply difficult decision taken by the local and national party.
“In 18 months everyone will have a chance to vote for a Liberal Democrat Council and I would ask you to attend the meeting on the 6th November, make your voice heard and help us build towards a renewed Liberal Democrat Island.”
Lowthion: “Nothing has been decided finally yet”
The Green Party candidate, Vix Lowthion, told OnTheWight,
“Nothing has been decided finally yet. Whilst discussions continue we cannot comment.”
LibDem press release
The press release in full can be seen below, with the file name ‘PPC step down Sep 2019 Letter to Members’.
Statement from Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Nick Stuart:
The Liberal Democrats will be releasing a Remain Alliance approach that will include agreement to not stand a Liberal Democrat on the Isle of Wight to provide the Green Party with an opportunity to present a single Remain Candidate.
For the Island I would add the following thoughts:-
“These are unprecedented times. With Boris Johnson we have a ludicrously unsuccessful Government that acted unlawfully, and is prepared to behave destructively to achieve an extreme no-deal Brexit. As has been recognised by members of his own party who have been thrown out, or left, his narrow right moving party.
The prime minister has failed to act with common decency or to even apologise for remarks which have been used to threaten violence. He cannot unite the UK by doubling-down as he has in Parliament with inflammatory and divisive remarks. The support from a bigoted ignoramous in the White House highlights his approach creating and exploiting divisions in society.
The Liberal Democrats have judged that this national crisis require unprecedented measures. Consequently, although keen to put forward the Liberal Democrat case to Isle of Wight electors I support this decision to stand aside at the next general election providing the voting public with a single choice for continuing our beneficial connection with our European neighbours.
“I will continue with the renewed vision and energy that the Liberal Democrats have shown in the last couple of years campaigning for Island focused policies on the environment, jobs, healthcare and infrastructure challenging the Council and Government to consult and deliver on matters that affect islanders.”
“Especially heartening has been my conversations with islanders discussing shared concerns and recognising the humanity of this special island. I will continue to represent the liberal voice on the Island, and look for solutions to the problems facing us to be firmly rooted in the Island traditions of fairness and equality.”
12:14 – Added ‘to’ to headline. Altered first para for clarity.