• South Staffs Lib Dems

South Staffordshire Liberal Democrats Choose Parliamentary Candidate

South Staffordshire Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that Chris Fewtrell has been selected as their parliamentary candidate at the next General Election. And his first act once polling day is announced will be to write an open letter to his opponents, including sitting M.P. and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, calling upon them to sign a joint declaration repudiating incendiary and divisive language while campaigning.

Chris, 49, is a writer and former journalist who has lived in the constituency with his family for the past seventeen years. Chris felt compelled to stand as a result of the political crisis that has arisen since David Cameron’s decision to call the Referendum on EU membership in 2016. Chris says, “I feel I can no longer watch from the side lines as our country tears itself apart, in pursuit of a project virtually all expert opinion believes will be ruinous for our economy. I feel particularly angry at some of the spurious claims made before, during and after the Referendum campaign, and especially since the current Prime Minister has taken office.”

“Very many hard-working, patriotic people voted Leave, having been deliberately misled by an alliance of speculators, media barons and politicians driven by a desire for profit, influence or career advancement. These same vested interests now seem hell-bent on driving us over the No Deal cliff. But we in the Liberal Democrats refuse to give up on our country and will not be silenced by the Prime Minister’s bombast and blather. I will fight to stop a Brexit which, on the Government’s own figures, will disproportionately threaten the livelihoods of ordinary people in the West Midlands and limit the opportunities available to our young people for generations to come. The poorest and most vulnerable in our society will bear the brunt of the hard Brexit the present Government craves, and this must be resisted.”

Chris also laments the wider changes he has perceived in the country since the Leave vote in 2016. “The spike in hate crime, the poisonous nature of so much social media content, the Prime Minister’s blatant attempt to shut down debate by closing Parliament - as confirmed by the Supreme Court - all speak to a rise in intolerance in this country. Openness, commitment to free speech and a sense of fair play are essential characteristics of our United Kingdom. The toxic nature of political discourse at the present time should be of grave concern to all those who cherish our representative democracy and our liberal values.”

With this is mind, Chris will be writing an open letter to his fellow candidates in South Staffordshire, inviting them to join him in making a commitment to clean campaigning. While not wishing to diminish the vigour associated with electioneering, Chris will call upon his opponents, including Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, to seek to avoid unnecessarily inflammatory language, or violent metaphors, and to advance their arguments in a spirit that will ultimately unite rather than divide. He says “It is my earnest hope that all the candidates can run campaigns which the voters of South Staffordshire can be proud of. That in this highly charged environment, while we may profoundly disagree, we can demonstrate both responsibility and leadership.

That we can make our arguments in a way that is persuasive, illuminating and passionate, but which remains broadly respectful to opponents and provokes thought rather than anger. Whatever happens with regard to Brexit, this country will have to heal at some point, something I think we can all agree on. There is no reason that healing cannot begin with a return to reasoned debate.”

David Taylor, from the South Staffordshire Liberal Democrats said “It is great news that we have such a strong and capable candidate, who has lived in the constituency for many years. We are all looking forward to working with Chris, under Jo Swinson’s able leadership, in any election in the future.”

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