LibDem Key Seat Chaos

Theresa May is in the south-west today to head off LibDem attempts to turn Remain-voting constituencies yellow. Yet the LibDem fightback has already come a cropper in two seats. Three weeks ago Daisy Benson was announced as the candidate in Yeovil, where the LibDems are trying to defeat Tory MP Marcus Fysh and win back a seat that had been Liberal since the eighties. Bizarrely, a few days after telling her local paper she was running, Benson stepped down as the candidate with the least believable excuse ever:

“Although I’ve been preparing for the past year, this election unfortunately comes at precisely the wrong time for me. I’m just in the process of completing purchasing a house.”

Paddy Ashdown, a former Yeovil MP, has refused to be drawn on what is really going on. Coincidentally Benson has just been given a plum job in her local party. With Rachel Johnson joining the party some have speculated Benson has been paid off to make way for another candidate. Either way the LibDems are in chaos in this key target seat…

And what are the LibDems playing at in Bath? This should be a major target seat: the Tory MP Ben Howlett is a joke and has been mired in all sorts of nastiness during his short time in parliament. He has a 3,800 majority and the seat was yellow before 2015. The LibDems pride themselves on having candidates in place before everyone else yet Bath is the exception – they only chose their candidate, an uninspiring Euro-fanatic called Wera Hobhouse, yesterday. The LibDems really should be challenging in Bath and Yeovil if they are to meet expectations, yet they are nowhere to be seen in either seat…




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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