LibDems and Labour Kill Off Owen Paterson Unity Candidate Idea

Last night the BBC told readers that Labour, the LibDems and the Greens could stand aside in the forthcoming North Shropshire by-election, to stand an anti-sleaze unity candidate against Owen Paterson’s replacement. While they managed to put egos and party differences aside in 1997 to defeat Neil Hamilton, it looks like that’s too much of a stretch in 2021. Last night Labour sources briefed out that wasn’t going to happen. This morning a LibDem official told the FT’s Jim Pickard:

there was a scintilla of examining… an independent unity candidate of a Martin Bell nature… compliance rules & electoral legislation has changed dramatically since then making it virtually impossible”

Just days after a new book revealed Labour could have taken out Iain Duncan Smith, and the LibDems Dominic Raab if they’d stood unity candidates in 2019…

Talking of Neil Hamilton, he’s been on TimesRadio this morning saying he has a “certain sense of deja vu this morning… nothing much has changed” and arguing “The whole process is flawed”. Guido presumes Paterson did not have Neil Hamilton at the top of the list of people he hoped would be arguing his case this morning…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Neil Hamilton Owen Paterson
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