Bristol West LibDem election candidate withdraws as part of Remain alliance

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University of Bristol student James Cox is withdrawing his candidacy to become an MP as part of a cross-party agreement, meaning only Labour and the Green Party are on the ballot for the constituency.

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Bristol West, James Cox, is withdrawing from the election race to strengthen the chance of a Remain parliament.

The decision means the only two MPs currently on the ballot in the local University constituency, where many students will vote, are current Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire, as part of Labour, or the Green Party candidate Carla Denyer. The Conservatives have yet to put forward a Bristol West candidate for this election.

Student can register to vote in the general election in Bristol as well as their home constituency, but must choose one in which to cast their vote.

The Liberal Democrat Party’s decision is part of their pledge to the national Unite to Remain alliance, led by former LibDem MP Heidi Allen, along with Plaid Cymru, The Green Party, The Independent Group for Change and various anti-Brexit independents. The campaign seeks to stop the UK leaving the European Union by standing aside in key parliamentary seats.

The main beneficiary in Bristol West is The Green Party, who can now target the seat as a potential two-horse race between themselves and Labour unless the Tories put forward a candidate before 14 November.

Bristol West has previously been a Liberal Democrat seat, with Stephen Williams voted as MP twice in 2005 and 2010, and is one of 60 seats in which parties from the Unite to Remain alliance will be standing aside in the hope that a new parliament can deliver a People’s Vote or support the Liberal Democrat policy of revoking Article 50.

While technically still registered as a University of Bristol student until January, James Cox completed his Master’s degree in Public Policy earlier this year and continues to advocate student issues locally, including mental health in his role as founder and director of campaign group Zero Suicide Bristol.

In a statement on his withdrawal, he said: ‘I first got into politics because I wanted to change it. After the EU Referendum, I was a founding member of Paddy Ashdown’s More United because I believe in the realignment of progressive politics in this country to defeat the Tories and other illiberal forces.

‘We as a party have vowed to do what we can to fix our broken politics. I am proud to play my part in a movement that is looking beyond party politics and putting the country first.

‘Whilst I am not fighting this election, I will continue to work to stop Brexit and build a brighter future for the people of Bristol.’

Featured image: Liberal Democrats / James Cox


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AUTHOR

Patrick Sullivan

Epigram Co-Editor-in-Chief 2019-20. Engineering student turned film critic turned news writer - enjoying the most brilliantly strange route into the media world.