Tag Archives: witney

Liz Leffman: If you elect me as your MP, I will champion NHS services

Liz Leffman has an impressive record of campaigning for better NHS services in the Witney area. When I was there two weeks ago, people were saying things like “Ah, she’s the one who saved the hospital in Chipping Norton” on the doorsteps.

In this campaign video, she talks about the changes she wants to see and how she will be a local champion for the NHS if she is elected MP next Thursday.

The Guardian has a good profile of the by-election with coverage of Nick Clegg’s visit yesterday.

Few in the party still carry a torch for the coalition years, but the enduring popularity of Cameron in this corner of Oxfordshire is something that the Lib Dems feel they might be able to capitalise on. The party is throwing vast resources into next Thursday’s byelection, shipping down legions of activists – 600 over the weekend and another 1,000 over the next week, according to party officials.

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LDVideo: Liz Leffman: Come and help my campaign to save Oxfordshire’s NHS & bus services

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Witney helping Liz Leffman’s campaign. If it is at all possible for you to go there between now and the by-election  on 20th October, please do so. You will be worked hard – 10,000 steps a day before lunch, I found – but it is so rewarding. We are already out-campaigning both Conservative and Labour parties on the ground and there will be no let up in our activity. We really need to keep ahead of them both.

Liz is an amazing candidate. She combines a passion for the area, an anger against the neglect of the NHS and the scrapping of local bus services and what that means for people’s lives with such authority, serenity and real warmth. It is very early in the campaign for this to be happening, but people stopped us in the street and said they were voting for her – outside her own council ward. In her own council ward, she is hugely popular. She got pretty much two thirds of the vote there in May.

I spent yesterday canvassing in the village of Eynsham with Liz and her team. I was surprised by the warmth of the reception we got on the doorstep. I do feel for the poor people who had come back from a two week holiday and found themselves in the thick of a by-election at full pelt.

The campaign has a really good feel about it so I would strongly urge you to go and help. If you can’t get there physically make phone calls. I don’t like telephone canvassing either. Actually, it’s the thought I don’t like, but once I get started, I’m fine.

It’s worth remembering, too, that the County Council elections are next year and a good result in the by-election could also leave a legacy of a stronger local government base in future years.

Whatever you are able to do you can sign up here and someone from the campaign will be in touch.

Events prevent me from telling you more of my adventures in Witney right now, but they will be coming over the next few days.

However, I’ll leave you with this just now. I sat down with Liz and recorded an interview with her yesterday morning – and she also recorded this video about her campaign priorities and inviting you to go and help. Yes, that’s you she’s talking to.

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Why I am going to Witney and I want you to go too

It’s not just that I am having withdrawal symptoms from a wonderful four days at Conference that makes me want to rush down to Witney to spend time with more Liberal Democrats.

That may be part of it, but why would I want to risk the guilt-inducing wrath of my dog by leaving her again so soon?

On Monday, I’m travelling 350 miles for a whirlwind 24 hours of leaflet delivery or whatever else needs doing  to help the wonderful Liz Leffman’s campaign. I’m doing so for several reasons;

A good result for the Liberal Democrats is important for party and country

A major theme of Conference is that we’re not going to stand by and see our country ruined while there’s something we can do about it. We are going to stand up and make the case for the closest possible relationship with the EU and for our country to be that generous-hearted, internationalist, collaborative force for good in the world.

This by-election is our chance to show that we are making progress as a party, that we can get public opinion on our side.

The party is taking this very seriously. They are even playing the cute dog card very early on. Seriously, a picture of a local activists’ dog was used to lure us there yesterday.

We are going to be fighting a good campaign and the sooner we do stuff the better.

For Liz

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Paddy Ashdown’s naughty thoughts

When you or I have naughty thoughts, we tend not to share them with 30,000 people. Paddy Ashdown on the other hand….

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We must fight Witney hard

Invitations have gone out to approved parliamentary candidates to stand in the Witney constituency by-election, caused by David Cameron’s sudden resignation from Parliament. It’s important the selection goes ahead quickly and the very best person is appointed as this is a contest we should fight with maximum resources, energy and determination. There is no time to lose as rumour has it that the by-election may be called for 20 October.

Although the Liberal Democrat vote fell back sharply in 2015 (as in so much of the rest of the country), the party’s candidates (respectively Dawn Barnes and Liz Leffman) came second in both 2010 and 2005. Yes, a distant second, but just consider the extraordinary circumstances in which this by-election is being held. Cameron unintentionally landed Britain in its current Brexit mess and the terrible trio that Theresa May has put in charge of “delivering Brexit” haven’t a clue what it means in practice, how it will be done or when. The Conservatives like to say they are competent, but this is incompetence on a colossal scale.

As for Labour, next week Jeremy Corbyn will almost certainly be re-elected leader of the party, despite the fact that he does not enjoy the confidence of the vast majority of his MPs and Labour is riven by internecine warfare. Not exactly in a position to make a big leap forward in Witney. Indeed, if the recent Sheffield council by-election is anything to go by, quite the opposite.

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Lib Dems choose Dawn to take on Dave in Witney

David Cameron’s local paper, the Witney Gazette, has the story:

THE Liberal Democrat candidate to take on Witney MP David Cameron in the next General Election has been announced. Dawn Barnes will stand for Witney against the Conservative leader in May or June next year. …

Miss Barnes, 32, said: “I was really happy, and a little surprised, to be confirmed as the Liberal Democrat candidate to stand against a man who is widely-tipped to be the next Prime Minister.

“However, it’s a real honour, and I’ll be working hard with the local party and friends and family in West Oxfordshire

Posted in Selection news | Also tagged and | 6 Comments
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