Peterborough by-election: Deal between Lib Dems, Green Party and Change UK to field single Remain candidate called off
A deal which would have seen the Liberal Democrats, Green Party and Change UK field a single candidate at the by-election in Peterborough has been called off.
The agreement which would have led to a single Remain-supporting unity candidate being supported broke earlier today (Wednesday), with the Peterborough Telegraph being told a candidate was expected to be chosen this afternoon.
However, after earlier referring the PT to its national press office the Peterborough Green Party tonight confirmed that Joseph Wells remains its candidate for the by-election on June 6.
Leader of the party’s city council group Cllr Julie Howell told the PT: “Joseph Wells is the Green Party candidate for the Peterborough by-election. We are not joining up with the Lib Dems or Change UK, nor are we stepping aside for any other candidate for any other reason.”
The Lib Dems have already chosen Beki Sellick as their candidate for the by-election, and earlier she refused to comment when asked about the story.
Privately the party is angry that the story leaked out, but publicly it has yet to comment.
The deadline for candidates to be confirmed is 4pm tomorrow.
Earlier today Change UK’s Anna Soubry, a former Conservative minister, appeared to confirm the story which had been revealed by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, tweeting: “Happy to confirm that this was initiated by #ChangeUK @ForChange_Now In these extraordinary political times it’s right to get behind @peoplesvote_uk #Remain Independent candidate. We are again putting country before party #Peterborough.”
Change UK– previously known as The Independent Group – is made up of former Conservative and Labour MPs who support remaining in the European Union.
The by-election is being held due to former MP Fiona Onasanya losing her seat after being jailed earlier this year for perverting the course of justice.
Her prison sentence triggered a Recall Petition which received enough signatures to end her time in Parliament.
News of the deal being called off comes just two hours after the Brexit Party revealed Secret Millionaire Mike Greene, who grew up in Peterborough, is its candidate for the by-election in the latest twist to what is already a fascinating contest which still has another four weeks to run.