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A Statement on the Decision to Stand a Candidate in Canterbury

It is national policy only to stand down if there is an agreement in place, as we have done with the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and independent remain candidates. We have received many messages asking us not to stand, but we have also received many messages in support of standing a candidate.

The Liberal Democrat objective is to build a fairer society. Stopping Brexit is absolutely key to that, but there are many Lib Dems who do not feel voting for Labour is something they can do in pursuit of this goal. Indeed, many people feel that the current Labour leadership will once again use remain votes to pursue its own Brexit. There are many Conservatives in Canterbury alarmed at the direction their party has taken and they will not vote for Labour. They may, however, choose to vote Lib Dem.

There has been much talk of "splitting the remain vote", and whilst we acknowledge these concerns, and have tried to build a remain alliance, there is no evidence that standing a candidate in Canterbury will automatically hand the seat to the Tories. It did not happen in 2017, and it is possible to suggest that without the roughly 5,000 people who voted Lib Dem and Green, Rosie Duffield would not now be an MP.

People have a right to vote how they choose, even though our ludicrous electoral system often ignores them, and for an increasing number of people that means having a Liberal Democrat on the ballot paper.

"Only the Liberal Democrats are saying Stop Brexit to Build a Brighter Future."

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