Julian Huppert won’t stand again in Cambridge

Sad news for Julian Huppert’s many fans. He announced on Twitter this weekend that he won’t be standing for Parliament again.

While I understand that he might want his life back after seven years of ceaseless campaigning, I am very sad to see this. Julian was on the same side as me on practically every argument the party has had. It was fantastic to have such a prominent figure in the party campaigning so strongly against replacing Trident.

Julian was such a credible voice on matters of science and technology and riled the less knowledgeable to the extent that they greeted him with derision every time he got up to speak. He played a crucial role in making sure that the party stopped the Tories introducing the Snoopers’ Charter during the coalition years.

It was also great to have someone who so vigorously stood up for the rights of transgender people. Sarah Brown wrote about his contribution in a Pink News article back in 2015:

Throughout that journey Julian was there fighting for the rights and dignity of LGBT+ people in parliament. When the coalition government scrapped Gordon Brown’s controversial ID card scheme in 2010, Labour tried to introduce a desperate amendment to preserve the cards, but only for transgender people. Julian stood up in parliament and explained that this amounted to a scheme which automatically outed trans people, and helped defeat the amendment.

When the same sex marriage bill failed to make any provision to restore marriages taken from trans people and our spouses under duress, and included the insidious Spousal Veto, I asked Julian to help and he introduced amendments in the House of Commons to address both. Sadly the amendments were not taken, but Julian’s vocal support of trans people on the floor of the Commons was unprecedented.

On a lighter note, we should also not forget another of his achievements – winning the Parliamentary Beard of the Year competition.

Although we know from Lib Dem Disco at Conference that he could easily find an alternative career as a DJ, I suspect that he will not disappear from national life and I hope he will continue to be the darling of the Awkward Squad at Conference.

This party owes Julian a huge amount for his passionate, knowledgeable, service as a champion for civil liberties. Thanks to him for all he has done and we hope to see as much of him in other roles in the future.

Cambridge Liberal Democrats are currently advertising for a new parliamentary candidate.

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

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  • Tony Greaves 22nd Oct '17 - 3:41pm

    This party will start to make real progress in the promotion of Liberalism when people like Julian become the mainstream and not the “awkward squad”.

  • For once I find myself in full and passionate agreement with the noble Lord Greaves.

    This is clearly a loss for the people of Cambridge, but if it’s what Julian needs then I wish him well and can’t begrudge him. Hopefully he’ll be happy in whatever her does next 🙂

  • Mike MacSween 22nd Oct '17 - 9:30pm

    Tony Greaves is right, except the ‘when’ should be replaced with ‘if’.

  • Tony Greaves 23rd Oct '17 - 12:26pm

    Mike MacSween – I am still an optimist in spite of everything that has happened!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct '17 - 12:38pm

    The question is more, where and why and what is the point of standing , in many areas.

    I cannot but praise and admire the , yes, three council candidates at three by elections in wards in Nottingham on Thursday, who , each, fine , young candidates, two very young , keen, dedicated, and got one, two , three per cent !

    In many areas it is two party contests and that is that.

    Julian does have a chance and a choice, as to whether to bother to be a candidate.

    He has made it his choice and who could say he is wrong.

  • Neil Sandison 23rd Oct '17 - 1:04pm

    Julian has served us well over many years but it is now time for a fresh batch of Liberal Democrats to come forward .We cannot expect people however dedicated they have been in the past to carry on forever . The regions need to foster and support new candidates as a matter of priority.

  • David Evans 23rd Oct '17 - 2:11pm

    I rarely disagree with Tony Greaves, but if Julian recons Cambridge (where he had a majority of nearly 7,000 in 2010) is history, we are in a lot more trouble than anyone is prepared to face up to.

    P.S. As an aside, this lunchtime, in a piece on people spending their pension pots, John Douglas, on Radio 4 ‘You and Yours,’ said “The couple have the former Chancellor George Osborne to thank for the fact they have this boat at all.” The lucky pensioner replied “We do indeed. Yes. He announced that you could basically cash in your pensions.” Oh Steve Webb. How quickly you are written out of history.

    Some say “History will be kind to the Lib Dems for our involvement in coalition.” The truth may be that, except for a few anoraks, no one will remember.

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