The former Labour Councillor for Cannon Hill, Mark Kenny, has announced that he has defected to the Lib Dems and endorsed the Paul Kohler, the Wimbledon Liberal Democrat candidate's campaign to be the next MP for Wimbledon.
Mr Kenny resigned as a Labour councillor on Merton Council in May this year. In the by-election held to choose his successor the Lib Dems won an historic victory, with local champion Jenifer Gould overtaking both the Conservatives and Labour to win.
Mr Kenny cited the Lib Dems’ unequivocally anti-Brexit stance and Paul Kohler’s reputation as a hard-working and effective local champion as key factors in his decision.
“Having seen Paul at work as a Merton councillor I know he will be a fine MP for Wimbledon working for the benefit of us all”, said Mark Kenny. “His spearheading of the successful campaign to keep Wimbledon police station open displayed many of his qualities: his hard work and attention to detail, his persistence and his determination not to give up.
“I have the utmost respect for him as a person of honesty and integrity and fully endorse his campaign to become our Liberal Democrat MP.”
“I know it isn’t easy to turn your back on your old party, but at this election we are seeing huge numbers of former Labour and Conservative voters coming over to the Lib Dems - not just because we are the only Remain party standing in Wimbledon, but because we are putting forward real solutions to Britain's most pressing problems”, said Lib Dem candidate Paul Kohler. “I want to thank Mark for his brave decision and his generous endorsement.
“Recent polling shows that the Liberal Democrats are the only party that can beat Boris Johnson’s Conservatives here in Wimbledon - Labour are simply too far behind.
“This election is our chance to stop Brexit and tackle the real issues facing our country, such as the climate emergency. I hope more people will follow Mark’s example and back me so that Wimbledon can have the strong pro-EU, anti-Brexit voice in Parliament it deserves.”
Mark Kenny’s endorsement comes on the back of Paul Kohler’s selection by cross-party anti-Brexit campaigning group Unite to Remain as the official ‘Remain Alliance’ candidate in Wimbledon. As part of the agreement the local Green Party stood aside in Wimbledon, while the former Green Party candidate Sonja Timpson has given her backing to Mr Kohler.
“I am stepping aside as Green Party parliamentary candidate in Wimbledon as I would like to be able to give voters a clear choice between a Remain candidate and candidates whose parties are either pro-Brexit or unclear in their position”, said Sonja Timpson.
“I will be voting for Paul Kohler because of our parties’ shared commitment to Europe and to voting reform, and also because I feel that this is our best chance of squashing any potential Tory majority.”
Want to help Paul Kohler win in Wimbledon on 12 December? Join his campaign today.
Thousands of EU nationals living across Merton have been left in legal limbo as they have not been offered permanent residency in the UK, official figures have revealed. The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of leaving local families from the EU in “legal limbo” and throwing people’s lives into uncertainty.
Of the 16,420 EU nationals across Merton who have applied for permanent residency, only 8,810 have been offered settled status. 4,770 have been granted pre-settled status, which only gives the temporary right to stay in the UK.
Another 2,760 EU nationals living in Merton have applied for permanent residency but are still waiting for a final decision to be made.
1,790 of the applications for settled status in Merton were for children, i.e. those under 18.
Luke Taylor, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mitcham and Morden commented:
“Too many EU nationals in Merton are deeply anxious about their right to stay. Many of them fill vital roles in our health service and our schools. It’s disgraceful for the Conservative government to leave them in legal limbo like this.
“Families and children must not be made to live under a cloud of uncertainty any longer.
“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit, protect the rights of EU citizens and build a brighter future for our country.”
Dozens of Mitcham and Morden Liberal Democrats joined me on the People's Vote March in London on October 19. It is estimated that over a million people Marched through London to show support for a People's Vote, and demonstrate that the 'Will of the People' has changed.
The Liberal Democrats will not stop fighting to preserve our membership in the EU and all the benefits it brings to our country.
Thank you to all the members and supporters who joined us on Sunday afternoon for the campaign launch for the Mitcham and Morden, and Wimbledon General Election Campaigns.
Ed Davey explained the seriousness of the situation facing us in Merton, and talked about how critical this General Election campaign will be, in short; We Must Win, We Can Win and We Will Win!
We had a great response in Wimbledon Town Centre this lunchtime campaigning with the Merton Liberal Democrats. We were talking to residents and collecting signatures to ensure that Stephen Hammond votes for the interests of his constituents and not for Dom Cummings next week in Parliament in the most critical week yet for the fight to stop Brexit.
In the afternoon we finished off delivery of our Colliers Wood residents letter on Chapter Way. I had a good chat with a number of residents, all of whom were sick of the political games being played by the Tories, and all wanted to STOP BREXIT!
Tonight I have submitted a letter on behalf of the Mitcham and Morden Liberal Democrat focus teams to the Merton Council Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting on Tuesday 3rd September. See our letter below and let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for how we can make sure Merton Council and Veolia start to fix our streets!