+++Breaking…..Liz Leffman will be the Liberal Democrat candidate in Witney

Liz LeffanWest Oxfordshire councillor Liz Leffman has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the by-election to be held in Witney following David Cameron’s resignation as MP. She was chosen by members at a selection meeting this evening.

Liz represents the Charlbury and Finstock ward where she had a commanding lead over the Conservative of over 600 votes in this May’s election.

She stood in Witney before, in 2005 and secured a strong second behind Cameron, in fact the highest ever Liberal Democrat result in the seat.

I’ve worked with her over the last few years on the Federal Finance and Administration Committee and I think she’s great. She combines a forensic eye for detail with a very practical approach. She’s superb at getting people to work together.

As well as running her own business and her council duties, she mentors women in business and is a trustee of her local Citizens Advice Bureau.

I shall be getting down to Witney as soon as I can to do my bit for her campaign.

Our success in this campaign will depend on how much work we can do at the very beginning, so if you can get this weekend, please do.

Tim Farron has been telling us all week that we’e spending the next four weeks in Witney. I wonder how soon he’ll get down there to support her. He does love a good campaign, so I doubt he’ll be able to stay away for long.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Excellent news!

  • Liberal Neil 20th Sep '16 - 11:20pm

    Great news. Really looking forward to working with her. Huge enthusiasm at the hustings earlier.

  • Maurice Leeke 21st Sep '16 - 7:35am

    Do we have an office there yet ? Or where should we report to at the weekend please ?

  • Geoff Payne 21st Sep '16 - 7:55am

    This is really great news and a tremendous opportunity.

  • Is fielding a candidate in her late sixties, who has unsuccessfully stood for parliament several times really the way forward?

  • Martin, I take your point, but if you joined the Liberal Democrats from the SDP, as I and many others did, then the distinction is not ‘artificial’ at all. This party was founded in 1988.
    The Labour candidate may be anti-Corbyn, but surely that will limit the enthusiasm of their half a million members to go and campaign for him. They are about to learn the lesson we did in 2015 – divided parties don’t win.

  • @ malc She sounds like a well qualified grown up to me with a good career and a good local profile.

  • @ Frank Little Any sign of Clarkson J. ?

  • Laurence Cox 21st Sep '16 - 10:59am

    @Malc. You have a seriously ageist and sexist attitude; Witney is a free-hit for us. No-one expects us to win it, and even if we did no-one would expect us to hold the seat at the 2020 General Election. It is a great opportunity to expose the Tories’ failings over Brexit. I am sure that the local party have chosen the best candidate for the by-election and that is all that matters. Just because a different candidate had been appointed to the seat to cover the possibility of a snap General Election being called is no justification for denying the local Party the right to choose their by-election candidate.

  • Fantastic news. Liz is a brilliant campaigner, local Councillor and experienced business woman. I’ll be in Witney in the next few days to support her and the local party!!

  • @Malc: What an appallingly ageist attitude. I actually don’t know how old Liz is. I’ve never asked. What I do know is that she is brilliant. Might I point out that both candidates for US President are in their late 60s.

  • Neil Sandison 21st Sep '16 - 11:56am

    A wonderful woman from Witney whats not to like about this candidate hope she becomes the next MP and confounds the political pundits .
    We will spread the word wheres the by election head quarters for activists to report into ?

  • David Raw

    “malc She sounds like a well qualified grown up to me with a good career and a good local profile.”

    You could be right, but I would have thought a younger candidate who hadn’t stood as often – in different seats – and lost, would have had more appeal. Perhaps I’m judging her on the 2015 campaign when she was the candidate for Brigg and Goole (my constituency). It was a poor campaign and the Lib Dems dropped from 3rd to 5th place and from 15% to 2%. However, she may do better on her home patch and I genuinely hope she gives a good account of herself.

  • Malcolm – if it was a poor campaign and on your patch why didn’t you change it? I presume you have already booked in at Whitney to give the campaign the boost it needs and with all your wisdom and experience you can provide?

  • david

    It would be fun, but do you really think the Witney Lib Dems would put out the welcome mat for me?

  • Yes I do. We all must make the effort. This could be a game changer

  • We’ve all been saying it: “What we need is a by election in a Tory-held seat in the south of England where we are in 2nd place?” Well, here it is. And we have a good candidate with a good local record. So my suggestion is let’s stop gabbing and get out there.
    And as for ‘nobody expects us to win it’. Laurence, do I really need to reel off the list of names, starting with Orpington and ending with Dunfermline? I know your basic message is a positive one, but let’s not write ourselves off before we even get going!
    Also, to echo Maurice’s question, can the campaign please issue instructions for those who can’t travel to the seat but want to help remotely?

  • Self-correction: yes, I know we weren’t in 2nd place last time.
    But we were the last time Liz stood. That’s what I meant. 8=)

  • Geoffrey Prior-Wande 3rd Oct '16 - 11:21am

    Please let me know by email where and when Liz Leffman will be speaking during the bye election campaign and whether there are any hustings. I should like to hear more about her ideas.
    Geoffrey Prior-Wandesforde

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