Lib Dem MEP not running as Welwyn Hatfield parliamentary candidate as Brexit didn't happen

PUBLISHED: 17:33 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:41 04 November 2019

Hertfordshire county councillor Barbara Gibson, who is also an MEP for East of England, and Welwyn Hatfield borough and county councillor Paul Zukowskyj, who is now the parliamentary candidate. Picture: Supplied.

Hertfordshire county councillor Barbara Gibson, who is also an MEP for East of England, and Welwyn Hatfield borough and county councillor Paul Zukowskyj, who is now the parliamentary candidate. Picture: Supplied.

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The Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate - who is also an MEP for the East of England - said she will not be running in the General Election as Brexit didn't happen on October 31.

Dr Barbara Gibson, who is also a Herts county councillor for Welwyn Garden City, said she has a "job to do in the European Parliament" as long as the UK is still a member of the European Union.

Liberal Democrat MEPs, who are also parliamentary candidates in the UK, have all chosen not to stand - according to Dr Gibson.

Instead fellow county councillor Paul Zukowskyj, who is also a Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor, was appointed as the Lib Dem candidate under an emergency procedure.

Mr Zukowskyj said his loss at the 2010 General Election was a different time when people did not see themselves as remainers or leavers.

"The defining characteristic is going to be Brexit," Cllr Zukowskyj said.

READ MORE: Labour unveils its new parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield

"If I am elected, I promise to do all I can to bring an end to the Brexit chaos and help us to build stronger communities now and in the future."

When asked if he thinks it's wrong to not have another referendum on EU membership if the Lib Dems win the election and instead simply cancel Brexit,

he said: "If they vote for us then that's in our manifesto and therefore a clear mandate.

"If they don't like that then they can vote for someone else."

He said his priorities, if elected, are keeping supply chain jobs in Welwyn Hatfield, making sure the Local Plan is not skewed to building over the Green Belt and preventing the night closure of the urgent care centre in Welwyn Garden City.

READ MORE: Brexit Party names parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield

"Climate change is also a focus in my mind," said the ex-University of Hertfordshire lecturer.

"We need to address it."

The WHT also questioned him on approving the county council's plans to cut fire crews from five to four.

He responded by saying that the vast majority of appliances in the county are already crewed with a maximum of four, and there has been no financial cuts to the fire service.

READ MORE: Our MP is the new transport secretary - and says he will fix 'unacceptable' Great Northern service

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps is the Conservative candidate, Rosie Newbigging has been the Labour candidate since September 2018 and Keith Adams was announced as the Brexit party candidate in August 2019.

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