The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates in South Gloucestershire are “extending a co-operative hand” to Labour activists and candidates considering their positions after 7 Labour MPs left the party to form a new independent group.
Claire Young, Lib Dem candidate for Thornbury and Yate, says:
“Lib Dems in South Glos are willing to work constructively with anybody within Labour who may feel they need to take a principled stand with the new ‘gang of seven’. I agree with Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and the others that politics in this country is broken.
“We don’t know yet whether any more MPs will follow, or whether the new independent group will grow into something more significant – but the Lib Dems are always open to extending a co-operative hand to those with whom we share common values. Our absolute priority is to defeat the division in our society represented by the extreme elements within Labour and the Conservatives.”
Louise Harris, Filton and Bradley Stoke candidate, says:
“Brexit has obviously been a decisive issue for the MPs that left Labour today in making their choice. The Lib Dems have consistently called for a people’s vote including the option to remain. This is an issue that extends beyond party boundaries, and we want to work with anybody who shares that aim to make it happen.
“People in South Gloucestershire have heard dire stories of what a hard Brexit would mean here, and our party political Tory MPs are allowing their Prime Minister to let us down by running out the clock. Together, we stand a better chance of stopping it.”
Dine Romero, candidate for Kingswood, says:
“The Liberal Democrats came about partly as a result of decent, honest voices in the Labour Party being hounded out to form the SDP. It’s not fun to hear a principled, long-standing MP like Mike Gapes say he is ‘sickened that Labour is now perceived by many as a racist party’ as it happens all over again. We don’t yet know how this will affect the local political picture, but if there are local members, councillors or candidates feeling they cannot tolerate abuse in the Labour Party, they should know they have friends in the Liberal Democrats just as they did in the early 1980s.”