Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Nick Perry and LibDem colleagues are ready to start campaigning.

Nick Perry and LibDem colleagues are ready to start campaigning.

Nick Perry stands for LibDems as candidates for snap general election are selected

Nick Perry has been re-selected as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in the event of a snap general election. With the exception of the Greens, the identity of most parties’ candidates is now known. Nick Terdre reports.

“Hastings and Rye has a history of political upsets and the political circumstances of the coming election will produce some surprising and unexpected results,” Nick Perry said. “With the Leave vote split between the Conservatives, Labour and the Brexit Party, the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats expect to do very well.”

Following disappointing returns in the 2015 and 2017 elections, Liberal Democrat fortunes have revived this year. In the European Parliament elections in May, they came second behind the Brexit party, taking 20.3% of votes and winning 16 seats out of 73. Earlier this month they reduced prime minister Boris Johnson’s majority in Parliament to one by winning the by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire.

After the 2017 election, Perry said he would not stand again for Parliament. He was on the party’s slate for the Euro elections but not elected. Now he has changed his mind. Having contested the Hastings and Rye seat three times before, he says that his experience as a candidate, combined with his work as a local mental health social worker, means that he will be able to represent the needs of the constituency’s diverse communities effectively at Westminster.

He also has current MP Amber Rudd’s record on brexit in his sights. “I am determined that Amber Rudd is held to account: for betraying her Remainer convictions to keep her cabinet job in a hard-right government and for the adverse impact of this Government’s policies on our most disadvantaged fellow citizens.” he said. “Brexit will make things even worse.”

The climate crisis, more affordable and social housing in the constituency, properly funded core services and the preservation of local jobs are his other key concerns.

“We are delighted that Nick has agreed to be our candidate at this time of national crisis,” said local party chair Anne Gallop. “He knows Hastings and Rye like the back of his hand and I know he will be an excellent MP for all constituents, irrespective of their position on Brexit.”

Strong voice needed

“We need a strong voice for Remainers across Hastings, St Leonards and Rye over the next few weeks, and in the event of a snap General Election,” Perry told HOT. “I am a passionate advocate of our #StopBrexit campaign, and will do all I can to promote EU membership as the best deal the UK could possibly have.”

The line-up of candidates for a snap general election, a likely outcome if Johnson’s plans for effecting Brexit on 31 October are threatened or thwarted, is now almost complete. Amber Rudd will fight the seat for the Conservatives and Peter Chowney for Labour. The Brexit candidate will be Tom Bewick, former Labour councillor in Brighton & Hove, the party told HOT. The Greens will hold a selection meeting on 1 October, they said. No reply has been received from Ukip as to whether they intend to stand a candidate here.

Given the first-past-the-post nature of the contest, and the recent surge of support for the smaller parties, electoral pacts may feature. In 2017 the Greens declined to contest the seat as part of an agreement with Labour, while in last year’s local elections, the LibDems opted not to stand a candidate in the Old Hastings ward in favour of the Greens. In both cases the strategy came close to success, with Rudd’s majority in particular cut to 346 votes, making Hastings & Rye a key marginal.


Posted 11:35 Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019 In: Politics


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Patrick Burton

    In response to the comments by Ms.Doubtfire and Judy Greenwell.
    I don’t think the Labour Party is loony, any more than the Tories or even The Brexit Party are. That is precisely the sort of slanging match abuse that should be avoided. It gets us nowhere and blots out rational discussion.

    I agree with Judy Greenwell, the coalition, in which the Lib-Dems were a very junior partner, supported policies which I and many like me, actively disagreed with at the time. If Labour, faced with the same international financial crisis would have done much different, is another question.
    The coalition’s Labour predecessor also did some fairly dreadful things (Iraq war, PPI, lack of bank regulation and more). It also had some great social and economic achievements. Others included military interventions in Yugoslavia and West Africa; but perhaps the greatest was the Irish Peace Agreement.

    The Coalition also had some achievements, not least mitigating some of the worst effects of austerity. How much influence the Lib Dems could ever have had on some of the items Judy cited is a moot question. Perhaps their mistake was going into a complete coalition rather than supporting itemised policies.

    But we are where we are. I like many Labour voters, MPs and now ex MP’s are most unhappy with the leadership, its actions (or inactions), and incompetence. Its previous inability to campaign properly and clearly for remain at the Referendum was a shock. In Parliament it supported negotiating for Brexit. It continues its ongoing ambivalence on what may be regarded as the most important issue since 1945 (apart from climate change), nort being able todecide if its fully for remain. For my part, this is a fundamental issue, but I also disagree with a number of ‘Left’ policies being mooted, which seem to have their roots more in the 1940’s than now.
    I must say, with my roots in the Labour movement, how sad this is for me, as I’m sure it is for others who have been much more involved in Labour politics

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Monday, Sep 16, 2019 @ 13:14

  2. Judy Greenwell

    Patrick Burton acknowledges the “bitter memories” held by some of the Tory-LibDem coalition, yet exhorts us to vote LibDem again, in order to avoid Brexit. It may be useful to remind ourselves of just how damaging the 2010-2015 Tory-LibDem alliance was for our country. The following information is taken from Wikipedia, the Political Studies Association and that well known left-wing rag, the Financial Times (25/3/15). Among their other acheivements, the coalition:
    – Raised the pension age from 65 to 66 for men and from 60 to 66 (by 2020) for women. This resulted in some women who had expected to retire at 60 having to work an extra 6 years before they reached the new pension age.
    – Expanded the academy and free school scheme from 203 schools in 2010 to 3,444 in 2013, leading the The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee to comment, “the rapid expansion of the Academy policy comes at the expense of rigorous evaluation.”
    – Reneged on the LibDem manifesto pledge not to raise university fees, now £10,000 a year, deterring whole cohorts of young people from entering higher education and leading to young graduates now starting their adult life with debts of £50k plus.
    – Stood by as Tory MPs voted against the establishment of an elected House of Lords, and then allowed Cameron to deny this had ever been part of the coalition negotiation or agreement.
    – Implemented Ian Duncan Smith’s ‘welfare reform’ which instituted Universal Credit, in which even Amber Rudd admits there are failures, resulting in severe financial hardship for the most vulnerable in our country.
    – Instituted George Osborne’s 2012 budget, an economic plan which increased the national debt by 15% and household debt by 30%, or £1 trillion overall, while increasing the assets of the top 10%. Forty percent of asset gains went to the top 5% of earners..
    – Ordered the British military to intervene in Libya, and when that was deemed a “sh*tshow” by President Obama, opportunistically swerved the purpose of intervention to ‘regime change.’ The Foreign Affairs Select Committee labelled the intervention as a “catastrophe” which has led to the rise of Isis in Libya and contributed to the refugee crisis.
    – Ordered a top-down organisation of the NHS, ignoring calls for staff on the front line of health provision to have a say in how their organisation worked.
    – Increased the popularity of the Scottish National Party, whose seats increased from 6 in 2010 to 56 in 2015 and who are now calling for a second independence referendum which could potentially lead to the break up of the United Kingdom.

    Lastly, let us remind ourselves that The LibDems have not always been a party of ‘remain.’ In fact, Nick Clegg called for an EU membership referendum as far back as 2008 (New Statesman, 15/5/2013). He did not get it then, and in 2010 opted to reject a coalition with Labour and threw his lot in with the Tories, resulting in a vice-premiership for him, years of excoriating austerity for the people of our country and, in 2015 a second term for the Tories, for which Cameron was elected on a referendum ticket. We are now living with the consequences of that referendum and, whatever the outcome of the current constitutional crisis over the next few weeks, the consensus is that it will take decades for our society to recover and for divisions to heal. When considering how to vote in any future election, we should not forget the role that the LibDems played in our recent history and how their actions have contributed to our current situation. In the words of George Santayana (attributed), those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.

    Comment by Judy Greenwell — Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019 @ 21:50

  3. Ms.Doubtfire

    From what I am hearing in this town there are many who are abandoning the labour party and opting to join other more rational parties. This has to be a good thing because nobody wants a party that is beginning to resemble a raving loony party running our country…and this is precisely what the Labour party is becoming…

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 @ 09:19

  4. Patrick Burton

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who has always voted Labour, and in my case was for some years a Labour Party member and activist, who now votes Liberal or Green, due mostly to the party’s at best ambiguous position on EU membership since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.
    Following Nick Terdre’s excellent analysis in HOT of voting intentions carried out by Coastal Action, may I urge the local Green Party not to field a candidate for the very possible snap election, and for its members to support the Lib-Dem candidate Nick Perry.
    I understand that for many of us who may describe ourselves as Social Democrats and may have bitter memories of the Tory – Lib Dem coalition, voting Lib Dem may be difficult and voting Green may be easier. Likewise it may be difficult for the identified 10.5% Tory Remain voters to vote Labour. But if we are going to save our country from the several disasters caused by Brexit, and above all by a No Deal Brexit, we should unite in alliance with the party most likely to win an election on a Remain or anti No Deal Brexit policy.
    Given the Labour Party’s national policy of not engaging fully with other anti No Deal parties, the local party is sadly unlikely to engage. Labour members and voters, often with very different views on other matters, should therefore consider giving their vote to a consensual Remain candidate. And, in this marginal seat, unseat the highly un-principled Amber Rudd.
    Then at a national level we could have a second referendum, or further discussions with EU, or whatever it takes and is agreed, to restore our country to some sort of stability, and remove this nightmare extreme right-wing Tory regime.

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Monday, Sep 2, 2019 @ 12:49

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