‘General election a two-horse race’ - Lib Dem candidate

Lib Dem Marko Scepanovic (left) and Crawley MP Henry Smith (right) during an EU referendum debate last year
Lib Dem Marko Scepanovic (left) and Crawley MP Henry Smith (right) during an EU referendum debate last year

June’s general election is a ‘two-horse race’ between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, according to one Crawley candidate.

The town’s current MP Henry Smith has been selected by the Crawley Conservative Association as its parliamentary candidate for Thursday June 8 and will look to hold on to the seat he helped take off Labour in 2010.

Green Party's Richard Kail

Green Party's Richard Kail

The Greens have selected Richard Kail while Marko Scepanovic has been put forward by the Lib Dems.

Prime Minister Theresa May only called the snap election last Tuesday (April 18) with many candidates across the country yet to be announced.

But Mr Scepanovic, whose party currently has nine MPs in the House of Commons, suggested by not having candidates ready Labour had ‘simply not stepped up to the plate of being a real opposition, ready to fight the Conservatives whenever the opportunity arises’.

He described the general election as a ‘two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives’, adding: “Every government needs to be held to account and the Liberal Democrats are rapidly emerging as the real voice of the opposition.

“If you want to ensure our country has a real opposition, the Liberal Democrats are the only choice in Crawley.”

Responding to a comment on its Facebook page, a spokesman for Crawley Labour said: “When Theresa May asked Parliament to vote for an early election it took everyone by surprise. All parties of all colours up and down the country are busy selecting candidates, our position in Crawley is not unique.

“Rest assured, we will have a candidate in place very soon. Whoever our candidate is, he or she will be very capable of representing the citizens of our great town.”

Commenting on his re-selection as a candidate, Mr Smith said: “It’s been an honour to represent Crawley in the House of Commons for the last seven years and I’m delighted to be re-selected by our local Conservative association to seek election for a third term.

“In the weeks ahead I’ll put the Conservative case to the people of our town, whom I hope will choose me to continue serving our community and our country.

“This will be a tough campaign and one I’m looking forward to. Last year a majority of the electorate in Crawley and throughout our country rightly chose for the UK to leave the European Union, and Theresa May needs the firm backing as Prime Minister to secure the best Brexit deal for the country and to deliver the Plan for Britain.

“If I’m given the honour of being re-elected to serve our town in Parliament I’ll continue to stand up for Crawley in the House of Commons.”

Mr Kail, who has previously stood as a Green Party candidate for Crawley Borough Council, said: “If elected, I promise to stand up for the things that I believe make Crawley special.

“I’ll defend our NHS, oppose austerity measures, support workers rights, protect our environment and be a reliable voice for everyone that lives in our town.”

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