Sarah Olney says she has quit as Vince Cable’s chief of staff because she has been “lobbied intensively” by local members to run again in Richmond Park. That isn’t what local LibDems are saying this morning. Members of Olney’s local party say they are distinctly unimpressed by her simply announcing that she is going to be the candidate again next time round. They say she resigned as a PPC when she took the job with Cable and so should face full selection like anyone else. Complaints have been sent by Richmond LibDems to party HQ protesting the situation and demanding the local party is able to choose its candidate.
It’s not hard to see why they feel this way. Olney was the only MP in Greater London to lose her seat to a Tory. There is no way she should have lost that seat given the London backdrop. She lost because she had not used her six months to deliver anything for her constituents. There is also the question of her expenses, which are still the subject of a police probe. The Richmond Park result was the upset of election night, what makes Olney think her local party are going to want her back?