In a momentous day for National and Local politics, Bridgwater and West Somerset has shared in those cataclysmic events.. As Labour rise steadily in the opinion polls the announcement by Nigel Farage that he would stand down his ‘Brexit Party’ candidates in 317 seats held by the Tories and just fight Labour came as no surprise particularly to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who said “ Donald Trump got his wish” when Mr Farage announced his electoral strategy adding a “Trump alliance would lead to Thatcherism on steroids and threaten the future of the NHS”. The news comes hot on the tails of the Lib Dems’ dodgy one trick pitch for the Remainer vote.
In Bridgwater,as Tory MP Ian Lidell-Grainger eagerly awaited the declaration by Brexit Party candidate Alexander Waugh that he had dropped out on his bosses orders, a further earthquake hit the local scene as former Labour Mayor Diogo Rodrigues, who had started a campaign to stand as an Independent, also announced he too would drop out saying “This election is probably one of the most important elections in recent history. While it has been called due to Brexit, it’s not the only thing that needs addressing at this election – there is so much more that needs tackling, such as the damaging effects that Universal Credit is having on ordinary people and the housing crisis, which is forcing so many to turn to food banks. We have been stuck with an MP, in Ian-Liddell Grainger, who has shown little care for us and our interests. Bridgwater & West Somerset desperately needs change, and desperately deserves a representative in Parliament who will give them a voice. The best chance of giving people back their voice is by replacing Ian-Lidell Grainger. The best way of doing that (under this unfair first past the post system) is by reducing the ammount of opponents taking part in the election against Ian-Liddell Grainger.”
In the 2017 election the Labour Party came a strong second place in Bridgwater and West Somerset with 17,000 votes while the Lib Dems floundered on 6,000.
Labour has been out canvassing and leafletting, has produced it’s campaign literature well in advance of the election campaign and has opened up it’s offices in Clare Street as a campaign Head Quarters inspired by the selection of a young energetic and charismatic candidate, working in the field of financial crime and with a farming background who has hit the streets running.
Vote Oliver Thornton
Oliver Thornton, the Labour Party Candidate, was quick to praise Diogo for his decision and to call on him to work together to help bring down the Conservatives saying “The Brexit Party offers only fear and hatred, I am glad that our constituency will not be subject to its dogwhistle politics. Diogo on the other hand is a young, engaging and articulate man with a positive vision of the future. I hope he continues to engage in local politics. I have reached out to Diogo to talk and I hope we can work together in the future because we need more people like him to bring about real change in our community.”
A World Beyond Brexit
Bridgwater Labour Leader Cllr Brian Smedley said “Labour is making a strong case that there is a world beyond Brexit. This election is about a lot more than what Johnson & Farage want you to think. At the weekend the Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid made a ‘Remain’ deal – with the Greens coming out of it worse. Both sides want people to think Brexit is the only issue. Especially the Lib Dems who are trying to hide their history in Government with the Tories and their role in introducing austerity. There is a world beyond Brexit and Labour is offering it.”