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Nick Perry, once more the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye, at the party's recent conference in Brighton.

Nick Perry, once more the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye, at the party’s recent conference in Brighton.

Lib Dems first out of the election traps

Faced with the possibility of a snap general election, the local Lib Dems have stolen a march on their political rivals by selecting their parliamentary candidate. Nick Terdre reports.

Speculation about a surprise general election following Theresa May’s promotion to  prime minister in July has spurred the Hastings & Rye Liberal Democrats into action, appointing Nick Perry their candidate for “any snap General Election called later this Autumn or in the ‎Spring of 2017.” A well-known figure in Hastings, Mr Perry was also the Lib Dem candidate in 2010 and 2015, polling 3.2% of the vote last year.

“I am honoured to have been asked to undertake this role,” he said.”The Liberal Democrats are prepared for any snap General Election. With the Labour Party turned inward, we accept the responsibility of leading the fight against this Tory Brexit Government. The country needs and deserves a decent Opposition, and the Liberal Democrats will provide it.”

It is thought the Tories could be tempted to call a snap general election to take advantage of Labour’s internal divisions to boost their slim majority in the House of Commons. Mrs May herself, perhaps understandably, has reportedly pooh-poohed the idea.

The local Labour Party has nothing yet to report on a candidate, chairman Paul Barnett, told HOT. In 2015 Sarah Owen polled 35.1% for Labour. HOT also understands that the local Greens (3.8% last time) have yet to consider the matter. Given the Green Party’s characterisation of Theresa May as an unelected prime minister, they might welcome an early election.

“It’s a bit too soon to worry about that [a general election],” Bernard Rayner, the local UKIP chairman told HOT. “People may be a bit fed up with elections at the moment. But we’ve got someone in mind, who is local born, local works and knows the people.” It was not Andrew Michael, who took third place with 13.3% of the vote in 2015, he confirmed.

The Tories are naturally expected to stick with the incumbent MP, Amber Rudd, who increased her winning margin last year, taking 44.5% of the vote. She has since risen up the government ranks, being appointed energy secretary by David Cameron and now home secretary by Theresa May. Ms Rudd’s involvement in two Bahamas-registered offshore companies before she took to politics, which was recently revealed by the Guardian, could come under scrutiny in the next general election, whenever it takes place.


Posted 08:44 Friday, Sep 30, 2016 In: Politics

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