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Lib Dem President urges Wyre Forest supporters to back Dr Taylor this time

April 7, 2005 12:01 AM
Simon and Adrian

Simon Hughes and Adrian Beavis

Simon Hughes, MP for North Southwark & Bermondsey and Liberal Democrat President, issued a statement today about the campaign in the forthcoming general election in Wyre Forest.

"At the last general election Liberal Democrats in Wyre Forest made an exceptional decision to stand aside and support Dr Richard Taylor, the candidate for Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern.

With our support Dr Taylor was elected and the Labour candidate was defeated.

Dr Taylor has served his constituents with dedication, diligence, and professionalism. He has brought the issues of hospital and health services in Kidderminster and the wider West Midlands regularly and effectively to the attention of parliament and government. He has done a good job.

As party President I have had discussions with local officers, councillors, and members in Wyre Forest about plans for this coming election. Following these discussions local party officers have delegated to me the decision as to whether or not a Liberal Democrat candidate should contest Wyre Forest on May 5th.

I have decided that for this one further election only Liberal Democrats will not nominate our own candidate. Liberal Democrat supporters in Wyre Forest are urged to support Dr Taylor in this general election.

If re-elected, Dr Taylor will continue to serve as an independent.

However following talks I have had with Dr Taylor I am satisfied that on all the ten central policies of the Liberal Democrat national programme, Dr Taylor shares our views and would vote in a similar way in parliament. By re-electing Dr Taylor the people of Wyre Forest will have the same commitment to freedom, fairness and trust as Liberal Democrats pledge. The voters in Wyre Forest will also have the same commitment to the public services, to pensioners, students and young people and of course to a better, more accountable national health service.

On the 5th May there will of course also be county council elections. Liberal Democrat candidates will stand to serve on Worcestershire County Council and I hope all local Liberal Democrat supporters will go out and vote for them.

I visited Kidderminster last week to meet my party colleagues. I have promised I shall visit again before the summer holidays.

This will be the last general election at which there will not be a Liberal Democrat candidate for Wyre Forest. Indeed not only will we fight the next election but with my support and that of the national party we will build up the local party and local support with the intention to win the seat in the very near future. I look forward to seeing the selection of a strong local candidate to be our prospective parliamentary candidate for the next general election.

I have also agreed with the local party that we will put up a full slate of candidates for the district council elections in the future. It is my hope and intention that we will now win many more votes and seats so that again ion the foreseeable future we can become the largest party on the local council.

Liberal Democracy is well strong and growing in the West Midlands. I expect us to win further seats at this general election from Labour and the Conservatives. The growth of our party will happen across the region and Kidderminster and the Wyre Forest will be a key part of this development in the near future.

Liberal Democrat members, officers and councillors in Wyre Forest are much appreciated. I hope Wyre Forest electors will view my difficult decision sympathetically.

Often politicians are asked to put local and national interest above party interest. My decision to ask our supporters on this occasion to support Dr Richard Taylor shows that, in exceptional circumstances, we are willing to stand aside to make sure that the local interests are best served."

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