Daisy Benson stands aside as Yeovil candidate

Lib Dem Newbies co-founder Daisy Benson has stood down as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Yeovil for personal reasons.

From ITV:

Daisy Benson has withdrawn herself as Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesperson for Yeovil citing personal reasons.

She appeared on The West Country debate less than a week ago but will not appear on ballot papers in June’s snap election because she’s “in the process of completing purchasing a house within the constituency.”

Her full statement reads:

With regret I’ve decided not to put myself forward to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Yeovil in the upcoming snap General Election.

Although I’ve been preparing for the past year, this election unfortunately comes at precisely the wrong time for me. I’m just in the process of completing purchasing a house within the constituency.

It would be unfair to constituents and the local party not to be able to devote 100% of my time to campaigning in this election but plan to play as a full part as I can in the coming weeks to ensure Yeovil returns a Liberal Democrat MP.

Paddy Ashdown wrote to Yeovil members:

You will have seen the very sad news that Daisy Benson has, for personal reasons withdrawn as our candidate for the General Election on 8th June 2017.

Daisy has helped to energise the Constituency during her time as our PPC, and, I am very glad to tell you, has offered to continue to campaign for the upcoming County Council Elections in the time available to her, given her house move. This will be very welcome news to all for whom she has campaigned so energetically.

I know you will join me in thanking Daisy for her tremendous efforts, and wish her every success for the future.

A huge thank you indeed to Daisy for all she did in Yeovil and all she will continue to do for the party.  The constituency had the highest contact rate in the south west with all the door-knocking that has been going on in the last few months.

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  • Mick Taylor 24th Apr '17 - 8:53pm

    I think this is very bad news and I hope Yeovil will select another excellent woman to be the next MP for Yeovil.

  • nigel hunter 24th Apr '17 - 9:09pm

    Now that she has gone ,what happens next?Who is taking her place? Is she/he known to the voter? Time is short.

  • I think this is shame and probably reduces the likelihood we will win this seat.

    It also seems to me to be a very strange reason for not standing. As someone who completed his house purchase while abroad, who moved in gradually over three months or so, I don’t understand how completing on a house can make it difficult to be a PPC.

  • Ashley Pragnell 25th Apr '17 - 7:41am

    The most sensible thing to do,would for Paddy to stand for one term! He would give the current MP a run for his money!

  • Ashley Pragnell 25th Apr '17 - 8:24am

    What about John Thurso in 2001! First Lord to sit in the commons! If Paddy were to denounce his title he could stand! After all David Steele was prosiding officer in the Scottish Parliament, and was in the Lords!

  • Nonconformistradical 25th Apr '17 - 9:15am

    Could Paddy resign from the Lords and then stand?

  • Ruth Bright 25th Apr '17 - 9:39am

    Daisy has made an amazing contribution already and standing down does not change that.

    I know nothing whatsoever about the circumstances but we ask a lot of our candidates financially, physically and psychologically. Sometimes the right role comes at the wrong time and it is courageous to admit that when there is still time for someone else to take over.

    The Candidates’ Compact as it currently stands is fine on what a candidate “owes” his or her local party. It is woefully silent on what the local party should offer the candidate.

  • Elaine Woodard 25th Apr '17 - 11:46am

    Daisy will not have taken this decision lightly and we have to respect her reasons for doing so. I know the local party will select the best candidate to fight the seat and the work everyone has put in so far will not be wasted.

  • Re: Paddy – a life peer cannot renounce their peerage; that privilege only relates to inherited titles.

    And with regard to Daisy, she’s a truly inspiring campaigner. Now has not turned out to be the right time for her (a good example of why fixed-term parliaments are a good idea… few people with normal lives are always able to drop everything for weeks at a moment’s notice), but she will be a brilliant parliamentarian some day soon.

  • This does sound like a scenario where a solution would be to have a properly supported candidate to help them deal with the move. I’d be pretty fuming if I were the organiser at why that couldn’t happen given how much stuff would now need unpicking that is really hard to put back together in a couple of weeks (a decent bank of photograph’s being one)

  • Robert - Bristol 25th Apr '17 - 3:08pm

    Just announced locally that our Bath PPC has now stood down?

  • What’s going on, first the Yeovil candidate drops out and then the Bath candidate ?

  • Daisy is an asbolute credit to the party – whilst this may not be the right time, I don’t doubt she’ll be back and will one day be an LD MP.

  • I agree Daisy is a credit to the party and here in Yeovil has helped energise the local party. She is still canvasing for the local elections. Incredibly her decision not to stand for the GE was the main item of news on BBC Points West yesterday! Unfortunately today BBC Points West were in Bath reporting the on another LD withdrawal and inviting Bath’s Tory MP Ben Howlett to comment on LD organisation!

  • You have to feel that the prospects in Yeovil, Bath [and also Southport where a replacement for the sitting MP has not been selected yet] are significantly diminished by these late withdrawals.

  • And Torbay, of course.

  • Don’t panic! I am sure that Yeovil and Bath will have an excellent selection of candidates to choose from. It is often good for a Party to bring in new blood.

  • Old Liberal 27th Apr '17 - 1:00am

    What on earth is going on? Do the young generation not understand that being a real Lib Dem candidate is a commitment to a local community for years if not decades, not something that can be dropped because you are about to move house a year after being selected.

    My sympathy goes to those local activists who have doubtless worked their socks off only to see it squandered.

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