Lib Dem Richmond win shocks pundits in huge blow to hard Brexit

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Sarah Olney and the Liberals Democrats on Thursday pulled off a stunning victory in Richmond Park, obliterating Zac Goldsmith’s 23,000 majority and winning a ninth MP in a huge blow to Theresa May’s hard Brexit.

 

The victory, which was declared just before 3am on the morning of Friday 2nd December, saw Sarah Olney, who only joined the Liberal Democrats following the 2015 General Election, elected to join Tom Brake as a second Lib Dem MP for London. It came after a bumper campaigning week for the Liberal Democrats, who had over 600 activists (including many from Sutton)  descend on the London constituency on polling day alone.

The result boosts the Liberal Democrat presence to 9 in the House of Commons, making them the fourth party in Parliament and adding a much needed female Lib Dem voice in Parliament to the fight against a hard Brexit.

In the end Sarah, garnered a majority of nearly 2,000 and won over nearly 50% of voters, in a victory that the media is saying will send ‘shockwaves’ through the government.

Speaking at the count, Sarah Olney said:

“The politics of anger and division were on the rise. That the liberal, tolerant values we took for granted were under threat. We were seeing the UKIP vision for Britain in the ascendancy – intolerant, backward-looking, divisive; just as we see it in America and across Europe.

Well today we have said no. We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open, tolerant, united Britain that we believe in.

The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit Government. And our message is clear: we do not want a ‘hard Brexit’; we do not want to be pulled out of the Single Market; and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win."

Tom Brake said:

“This historic win should be a wake-up call to the hard Brexiteers that Britain is still open-hearted, still tolerant and still united.”

“The Liberal Democrats threw not just the kitchen sink, but the entire kitchen, into this by-election and this phenomenal result is a vindication of the values we fight for every day. It is now the Lib Dems, not Labour, who are bringing the fight to this divisive Government in their strongest areas.

I congratulate Sarah and look forward to working with her in Parliament to make London and the rest of the UK a more tolerant, open-hearted and liberal place.”

 

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