Friday, 2 December 2016

Lib Dems Are Back After A Shocking Election Win


Lib Dem leader Tim Farron says his party is "back in the big time" after it fought on the issue of Brexit to oust ex-Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election.

Lib Dem challenger Sarah Olney overturned Mr Goldsmith's 23,015 majority to finish 1,872 votes ahead.

Mr Goldsmith quit the Tories to stand as an independent after the government backed a third Heathrow runway.

But the Lib Dems successfully switched the focus of the campaign to Brexit.

Mr Goldsmith was among Conservatives who backed a Leave vote in the 23 June referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.

Mr Farron said the outcome was a verdict on Theresa May's "UKIP-ish" take on Brexit and showed that it was possible for moderates to win.

The result was seized on by the European Parliament's lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt - a Liberal politician - who congratulated Ms Olney and said Europe "is watching".

But Mr Verhofstadt's intervention provoked anger from Conservative former leader and prominent Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith who warned him to "mind his own bloody business".



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