As has been his style all year Liberal Democrat Nick Perry is taking the election battle to his opponents.
With the news that it’s now almost certain that we will go to the polls on December 12th in the third General Election in just over four years Mr Perry is already on the attack: “Where Jo Swinson (the Lib Dems national leader) and Ian Blackford (leader of the SNP in Westminster) have led, Jeremy Corbyn now follows.
“If we are to have a December General Election, the Liberal Democrats are ready. Like it or not this election will be about one issue: Brexit.
“In Hastings, St Leonards and Rye the choice is between an unannounced, Brexit Party-endorsed Tory, and a Stop Brexit Liberal Democrat who has been living and working in the constituency for 12 years.”
Asked for a comment the local Conservative association told Hastings in Focus: “A new candidate is still being chosen by the party locally. We will be making an announcement on this matter very soon.”
Labour’s Peter Chowney says he will make a statement once all details of the election have been confirmed which is expected to happen later today when the House of Lords effectively rubber stamp decisions made in the Commons yesterday.
What do we know about who is standing to represent Hastings and Rye in this election…
The Greens and the Brexit Party will not field candidates in Hastings and Rye at the next General Election.
The Brexit Party’s Tom Bewick announced last month that he will be contesting the Dagenham and Rainham seat in Essex. And a spokesman for The Hastings Green Party confirmed at the same time that they will not contest the seat either.
A spokesman for the party confirmed: “Hastings Green party will not be standing a candidate in a general election under the current political circumstances.
“However, the party will not be entering into any kind of pact, deal, or agreement with any other party and does not endorse any other party. Members will instead prioritise their local campaigning work and the party will be standing a full slate of candidates in the May 2020 borough council elections in Hastings.”
The Green party’s decision came after Labour’s Peter Chowney spoke to Green Party members in Hastings.
Former Brighton councillor Tom Bewick’s announcement that he will not contest the election is attributed to Amber Rudd’s decision to quit.
Mr Bewick wrote: “Following the resignation of Amber Rudd in Hastings and Rye the @brexitparty has moved me to fight the 70 per cent leave voting seat of Dagenham…”
While no announcement has yet been made on who the new Conservative candidate will be it is expected to be someone who supports the Brexit cause which would have meant standing a Brexit Party candidate in opposition would have been seen as politically counter productive.
For the Greens, they held a selection meeting in September and although a prospective candidate was selected no announcement of who it was, was ever made. Then it became known that the Greens had asked Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Mr Chowney along to talk to the membership.
Mr Chowney told Hastings In Focus today: “I’m very pleased that Hastings and Rye Green Party has decided not to field a candidate in the next general election. They made the decision after I addressed a Green Party meeting, and explained what policies I supported, and how the need to prevent climate change was, in my view, by far the most important issue facing humankind.
“I outlined other policies I’d be promoting too – including support for proportional representation – whether they decided to stand aside or not.
“I was very grateful for the support and help I got from Green Party members in 2017, helping me to come within 346 votes of winning the constituency for Labour. I look forward to working with Green Party members again in the forthcoming general election, whenever that should be.”
While it’s likely that other fringe candidates will throw their hats into the ring nearer the time it’s coming down to a three way battle for Hastings and Rye between Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Mr Perry said: “With the new Conservative candidate likely to be Brexit Party-endorsed, Hastings and Rye now has a clear choice between a hardline pro-Brexit Tory, and a Stop Brexit Liberal Democrat.
“The Labour Party confirmed at their Brighton Conference that they will tell us their position on this pivotal issue after the General Election.”
- From earlier this week – follow these links to read more