Brexit Party will not contest Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere seats
PUBLISHED: 14:06 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 11 November 2019
Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere Brexit Party candidates Keith Adams and Graham Shore are unlikely to run in the 2019 General Election.
Their leader Nigel Farage announced today that the party will not contest any seats won by the Conservatives in 2017, which includes Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere.
The news comes despite Mr Adams actively campaigning on Saturday for Welwyn Garden City votes.
He said on Twitter at the time: "Everyone who stopped by are just fed up with mainstream politics."
However, remain parties and Labour - which won a 2017 seat - will have to contend with Brexit party candidates.
Mr Adams said he was saddened by the news but thought it was the right decision.
"We weren't told till after Nigel announced it," he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
"I feel very sorry for some people who have always voted Labour that will never vote Tory".
He said he will now campaign for the Brexit Party in the midlands, north of England and other Labour heartlands.
Labour candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Rosie Newbigging thinks this is an indication that the Conservative party is now advocating for a hard Brexit.
"The contest in Welwyn Hatfield is a two-horse race, so if you don't want to vote Tory then you need to vote Labour," Ms Newbigging added.
She said she would campaign to remain if there is another referendum on British membership of the European Union.
"I do agree that the EU needs to be reformed," she added.
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Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Paul Zukowskyj, who is a county and borough councillor, said it was not a surprise to him.
"The Conservatives have become more extreme by the day, they're essentially becoming the Brexit Party anyway," Cllr Zukowskyj said.
Conservative Welwyn Hatfield candidate Grant Shapps, who is also Transport Secretary, welcomed the news.
"I've been spending my time knocking on thousands of doors here in Welwyn Hatfield and, even as a remain voter myself, it is clear that people simply want the country to move on," Mr Shapps said.
"The remaining parties standing here all want yet more dither and delay.
"However, I think it's now clear that the only way to deliver on priorities like healthcare, schools and improving transport is to elect a Conservative majority at this election.
"I am therefore picking up support from people who voted remain and leave at the referendum".
Mr Shapps and Hertsmere Conservative candidate Oliver Dowden, who is Veterans Minister, have both advocated for the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union.
"Unlike the previous deal, which meant Brussels had ultimate control and could have forced Britain to accept EU laws and taxes, this deal means voters in the UK, such as the people of Welwyn Hatfield, are in charge," Mr Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times in October.
"After three and a half years, it's finally time to leave and hope that my fellow MPs get behind this deal so that we can move on and get on with all the other big issues that matter to people."
Remain voter Mr Dowden said he sees his job now as "to get on and deliver Brexit".
"I've also been clear that the best way to leave the European Union is with a deal, avoiding unnecessary disruption," he added.
St Albans district councillor Stephen Barrett is the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Hertsmere, while Labour has opted for Holly Kal-Weiss in this constituency.
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