The Liberal Democrat candidate for Brighton Pavilion has stood down for the second general election in a row.
Paul Chandler, who stood down in Brighton Pavilion before the 2017 election, announced to day (Thursday 7 November) that he was standing aside again.
Then, it was as part of a “progressive alliance”, aimed at thwarting the Conservatives. This time it’s been branded the Remain alliance.
The alliance is the result of an electoral pact between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens who have agreed not to stand against each other in 60 constituencies.
All three parties are opposed to Brexit – Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Brighton and Hove Lib Dems said: “As part of a unique cross-party agreement covering 60 seats in England and Wales, the Liberal Democrats have decided to stand aside at this election, to allow Caroline Lucas the best chance of winning the Brighton Pavilion parliamentary seat.
“Of course, our candidates Beatrice Bass in Hove and Ben Thomas in Brighton Kemptown will be fighting vigorous campaigns.”
Caroline Lucas won her seat from Labour in 2010 with a majority of 1,252. She held it in 2015 with a majority of 7.967. Two years ago she was returned again with a 14,699 majority.
Brighton and Hove Lib Dem party chair Hilary Ellis said “Brexit is a national crisis. This ground-breaking agreement, facilitated by the Unite to Remain campaign group, will help to secure the maximum number of Remain supporting MPs in the next Parliament.”
“In this area, that means that we have decided to stand aside for the Green Party in Pavilion.
“Due to our broken voting system, splitting the significant Remain vote in our city is a real risk.
“Caroline Lucas was elected with a bare majority of the vote in 2017 when we also stood aside.
“The re-entry of a Lib Dem candidate when we are surging in support across the country could lead to candidate from a Brexit-supporting party taking the seat.
“We are proud to be putting our country’s interest before our party.
“We thank the Green Party and Plaid Cymru for their decision to stand aside in many Lib Dem target seats.
“It is deeply disappointing that Labour Remainers would not step up too but Labour failed the test on backing a People’s Vote and they failed the test to build a new Remain Parliament.
“They are still a Brexit party.”
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said “I’d like to thank Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats for co-operating with this project and putting the national interest above that of our own party.
“This is a new kind of politics that can offer a brighter future when we work across party boundaries to solve the biggest issues, like Brexit and the climate emergency.
“Together, we can stop Brexit and Unite to Remain.”