FORMER Liberal Democrat MP John Leech has launched his campaign HQ ahead of the General Election, where he will contest the Manchester Withington seat.
Leech, who lost the south Manchester seat to Labour’s Jeff Smith in the 2015 general election, launched his campaign back in April – and the former MP has a firm desire to reclaim his old constituency.
“I think the party think I was the best well known candidate to stand in this constituency. I’m the only Liberal Democrat councillor in Manchester at the moment, so I suppose I’m the highest profile candidate,” Leech says.
Leech will be hoping to be one of a number of Liberal Democrat MPs who reclaim opposition seats on June 8, with Manchester Withington a target seat for the party.
I've got something so exciting to tell you… pic.twitter.com/IHBJUInV8D
— John Leech (@johnleechmcr) April 23, 2017
“Being a seat that we’ve held in the past, and given Labour’s current situation under Jeremy Corbyn and being all over in the place with Brexit – also this being an area which voted very heavily to stay in the EU. I feel I’m the right candidate for this seat.” Leech says.
If Leech is to win back his old seat at the General Election he must overturn a 14,000 majority achieved by current Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith from the 2015 general election.
Whilst achieving strong majorities in the 2005 and 2010 General Elections, the 2015 general election cut the number of Liberal Democrat seats in the UK from 57 to 8 in a bruising defeat. But according to Leech, Manchester Withington, which voted 75 percent to remain in the EU has reacted very positively to his campaign.
“Some of our canvassing sessions has been outstandingly positive, far more positive than in some respects, we would have ever imagined. Some areas are far more fertile than others.
“Some canvas sessions have been not as good, but overall the canvassing has been very positive – and it shows that we stand a good chance of snatching back the seat” says Leech.
The Lib Dems will be battling Labour, Conservatives, Green Party and the Women’s Equality Party in the seat of Manchester Withington – and as Leech believes, Brexit will play a huge part in it.
“Manchester Withington needs an MP who is going to be focusing their attention in Parliament on fighting Brexit, fighting to stay in the single market, and most crucially – giving the voters a final say on the deal.
“When people voted to leave the European Union, they didn’t get a vote on what they were going to get instead. Theresa May is terrified to give people a say, because she knows when people see what is actually on offer, they won’t be very happy.”