The Liberal Democrats will not be fielding a candidate on the Island for the General Election on December 12. The party has come to a national electoral pact with the Green Party.
In a statement sent out to party members yesterday Nick Stuart (pictured), said:
“You will see from the press release attached to be released shortly that I will not be standing in this General Election on the Island. The Liberal Democrats nationally have decided that a electoral alliance with the Greens to maximise the remain vote is the best cause of action on the Isle of Wight.
“I am disappointed that you and other Islanders will not get the chance to vote for the Liberal Democrats given our unique policies and I realise that many of you will be unhappy about the lack of choice but I would urge you to recognise the critical issue of Brexit and know that our small step back will help other Liberal Democrat candidates around the UK. We hope you can respect what has been a deeply difficult decision taken by the local and national party.”
In the press release he goes on to say: “These are unprecedented times. With Boris Johnson we have a ludicrously unsuccessful Government that
acted unlawfully, and is prepared to behave destructively to achieve an extreme no-deal Brexit. As has been
recognised by members of his own party who have been thrown out, or left, his narrow right moving party.
The prime minister has failed to act with common decency or to even apologise for remarks which have
been used to threaten violence. He cannot unite the UK by doubling-down as he has in Parliament with
inflammatory and divisive remarks. The support from a bigoted ignoramous in the White House highlights
his approach creating and exploiting divisions in society.
The Liberal Democrats have judged that this national crisis require unprecedented measures. Consequently,
although keen to put forward the Liberal Democrat case to Isle of Wight electors I support this decision to
stand aside at the next general election providing the voting public with a single choice for continuing our
beneficial connection with our European neighbours.
“I will continue with the renewed vision and energy that the Liberal Democrats have shown in the last
couple of years campaigning for Island focused policies on the environment, jobs, healthcare and
infrastructure challenging the Council and Government to consult and deliver on matters that affect
“Especially heartening has been my conversations with islanders discussing shared concerns and recognising
the humanity of this special island. I will continue to represent the liberal voice on the Island, and look for
solutions to the problems facing us to be firmly rooted in the Island traditions of fairness and equality.”
The Liberal Democrats lost their deposit in 2017 on the Island, while Vix Lowthian standing for the Green Party came third.
UPDATE : Nick Stuart contacted the IW Observer, saying that the message was a draft which had been sent out to LibDem members in error. There was no indication that it was a draft document. Over the weekend LibDem Leader Jo Swinson confirmed that she is seeking an electoral pact with the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to try to prevent Brexit.