Councillor Max Wilkinson has been elected by local Liberal Democrat members as their new parliamentary candidate.
Former Lib Dem MP Martin welcomed the news: "Max is a terrific local campaigner, a good friend and he works to get things done. Unlike the Conservative MP, he lived and worked in Cheltenham before becoming a parliamentary candidate here. He's already working hard for local people as a member of the borough council. I have every confidence that with Max in the lead, we can close the slender gap between us and the Conservatives at the next General Election, whenever it comes."
"Cheltenham badly needs a new voice for tolerance, internationalism and openness in Parliament, and the country badly needs an alternative to this shambolic, divided government which is going to drive us over the cliff-edge of a very hard Brexit. So that election can't come soon enough."
For reasons unconnected with politics, as one of my predecessors once said, I wrote yesterday to Cllr Paul McCloskey, chair of the local Liberal Democrats, to let him know that I have decided not to put my name forward in any forthcoming selection of a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham.
Martin didn't vote against the Referendum Bill as he never opposed the British people having their say. But he passionately disagreed that Brexit was right for this country and still believes our future safety, prosperity, environment and culture would all benefit from continued membership of the European Union. But even Brexit supporters must now despair of the Conservative government's inept and disunited approach to the EU negotiations which could easily lead to the UK dropping out of the EU in 2019 like a crate of eggs off the back of a moving lorry.
Martin would support the British people having the final say on whatever Brexit deal actually emerges from the negotiations in a final referendum, with the option to vote to remain in after all if Brexit is clearly going to be a complete disaster for the UK.
Originally posted on Facebook, June 2017.
Well we didn't quite do it. But we did buck the national trend to increase our vote share by 8 points, adding six thousand to the Lib Dem total and slicing the Tory majority from 6,500 to 2,500.
Local campaigning for the general election has now resumed for the general election with the agreement of the national party and volunteers are urgently needed at our campaign HQ in Cheltenham.