The Sunday Times has the story – see extract below:-
So much for Labour’s ‘surge’ in Southport. Apparently, according to the Sunday Times, it’s going so badly for Labour in Southport that they’re pulling the plug. No longer one of Labour’s NW target seats.
Please click on the newspaper extract to enlarge it for reading.
I was at John Wright’s adoption meeting in Southport last night where the Lib Dem flag was being flown high by around 200 people attending the event.
John Wright – Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Southport
Of course Southport is one of the 60 constituencies across England and Wales where PC, the Greens and Lib Dems have stood down for each other so there is only one Remain candidate on the December 12th ballot paper. In Southport the Greens have stood down and it was really great that Laurence Rankin, who would have been their candidate, both attended and spoke to the meeting. Indeed, he made an excellent contribution which showed me how close many Green and Lib Dem policies really are. Here is Laurence speaking:-
Laurence Rankin the Green Party candidate standing down in Southport speaking at John Wright’s adoption meeting.
John Wright has impressed me from the first time I met him as he seems to have the ability to get along with people and understand differing perspectives. He is clearly both delighted and humbled to have the Green candidate standing down for him so he can have a clear Remain Alliance shot at the presently Tory held Southport seat.
As you might expect we heard a great speech from John. But he was also able to introduce a well known local Labour campaigner to the meeting as someone now backing him and he told the meeting that former Labour MP for Crosby Claire Curtis-Thomas had been in touch to offer her support.
Great to see Lib Dem leader Tim Farron in Southport today backing Sue McGuire in her quest to succeed Lib Dem MP John Pugh.
Sue is pictured here with Tim and John Pugh.
My good friend John Pugh MP has decided after many years serving the good folk of Southport that the June General Election is the time for him to step down.
I know John has been an excellent MP not least because opposition party members have told me such. And I don’t mean in tribute after hearing he is standing down but before that whilst he has been Southport’s MP.
Dr. John Pugh Lib Dem MP for Southport
John is independently minded but then again that is the test of a good Liberal. Show me a politician who is prepared to be whipped time and time again to vote for things they really can’t abide and I will likely show you someone who is not a Liberal. Remember John stood out against Nick Clegg’s dropping the the Lib Dem pledge to oppose an increase in Tuition Fees, which were originally brought in by Labour when they were in Government. John was right.
On a subject close to my heart, John has been up front in his support for the revitalistion of rail services into and out of Southport to the east and north of the Town. That is an ongoing campaign that has a long way to run and his successor will have to show the same determination to support and promote that cause because the economic future of Southport is very much bound up in such campaigning.
I can’t say that I always agree with John but hey I’m a Liberal too and hope I have a reasonably independent mind too. What I do know is that John is a deep thinker who analyses every matter before him and you can bet that if you challenge him over an issue he can demonstrate a clear thought process that took him to the view that he holds.
I think Southport has had a really exceptional MP in John and they will be big boots indeed for his successor to fill.
Happy retirement from Westminster John but not from the local political scene.