Martin Horwood, the former Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham who nearly regained his seat in the 2017 general election, has decided not to stand next time:
We ran a tremendous campaign in Cheltenham earlier this year, bucking the national trend by increasing our vote significantly and making this one of the most winnable Liberal Democrat / Tory marginals in the whole country, so I understand why the local party will want to crack on with selecting a candidate as soon as possible.
But the timing isn’t right for me.
Luckily, the Liberal Democrats have many able campaigners locally and nationally who will be very interested in taking on this challenge.
I wish them every success and I hope to be able to give them my wholehearted backing.
In a public post on Facebook, Martin Horwood added:
For reasons unconnected with politics, as one of my predecessors once said, I wrote yesterday to Cllr Paul McCloskey, chair of the local Liberal Democrats, to let him know that I have decided not to put my name forward in any forthcoming selection of a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham.
I do regret having to take this decision and I very much hope to return to frontline politics in the near future. But I can’t commit to that right now.
Sad news for the party and I hope that future return does indeed occur as the party very much needs the skills and experience of people such as Martin.
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