THE LIBERAL Democrats in Coventry have announced their three candidates and say they are the only party committed to retaining the UK in the European single market.
The party’s leader, Tim Farron, says it is the only party of opposition to a ‘hard Brexit’ from the European Union.
Voters would get a second referendum on remaining or leaving, as it would give people the chance to accept or reject the precise terms of any Brexit deal struck by Tory PM Theresa May.
More details will be in the party’s manifesto next week. But it is clear the Lib Dems, who dramatic rise in 2010 was followed by a precipitous fall, are eyeing a resurgence by seeking to reflect the views of those who voted ‘Remain’ in last year’s EU referendum.
Coventry voted by 55 per cent to Leave the EU. The city at the 2015 general election saw a poor showing for the Lib Dems – polling just over four per cent of the vote – when nationally it collapsed after five years of being in coalition government with the Tories.
The party claims many Coventrians have joined it over concerns about the UK’s place in Europe and the impact on household finances and the local economy.
The Lib Dems’ campaign is also emphasising ‘fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united’.
Andy Hilton is the party’s candidate for Coventry North West on June 8.
He moved to the city in 2011 and works as an IT service management consultant after working in the Czech Republic for seven years, and obtaining an MBA business degree.
He says he is a “passionate advocate for the life opportunities that the free movement of labour offers to young people throughout the European Union.”
He is also campaigning on NHS, housing, public transport and cycling issues.
He is a keep long-distance and mountain cyclist who has raised thousands of pounds for charities; and a hockey player, umpire, and a long-standing committee member of the Coventry & North Warwickshire Hockey Club.
Former Coventry city councillor Russell Field will stand in Coventry North east, having lost his Upper Stoke seat at the Council House in 2012, after eight years.
He attended Wyken Croft and Caludon Castle schools. He lives and works in the constituency for a local building society as an IT professional.
Mr Field said: “This area has a lot of low-income households and hard-working families that have been seriously neglected by the current Conservative government.
“The Conservatives are determined on a Hard Brexit, which will damage Britain’s trade and hurt jobs in Coventry.”
Greg Judge stands again in Coventry South where he lives, after doing so in 2015.
He works for a medical research charity, influencing MPs on funding more cancer research for patients. He has worked inside Parliament for several years, and advises a human rights campaign on ‘helping to protect our privacy and stopping the government snoop on us all online.’
A former school governor, he adds he is concerned about real-terms school budget cuts.
The Liberal Democrats say they will invest over £51 million extra funding into Coventry schools and colleges over the next five years.