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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: after by-election loss , Is Brexit in jeopardy ? Reply with quote

( there seems to be a movement to stop the Brexit in the UK after a shocking by election loss in London , a former tory mp was running as in independent after he resigned to protest the airport , however the vote quickly became a referendum on Brexit in an area that had voted to remain )

Zac Goldsmith ousted by Lib Dems in Richmond Park by-election

57 minutes ago

From the section UK Politics

Media captionLib Dem Sarah Olney beat Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election.

The Liberal Democrats have caused a major upset in the Richmond Park by-election, overturning a 23,015 majority to oust ex-Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.

Mr Goldsmith stood as an independent after leaving the Conservative Party in protest at the government's decision to back a third Heathrow runway.

But Lib Dem Sarah Olney, who is also opposed to Heathrow expansion, fought the campaign on the issue of Brexit.

Labour's Christian Wolmar lost his £500 deposit as he trailed a distant third.

In quotes: What the result means

The other five candidates also lost their deposits as they did not receive a big enough share of the vote.

Ms Olney polled 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith's 18,638.

The Conservative Party, UK Independence Party and Green Party did not field candidates.

As the new Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Ms Olney will be the party's only female MP - joining eight male colleagues.

She said the by-election result was a rejection of the "politics of anger and division".

Sarah Olney and Lib Dem leader Tim FarronImage copyright Reuters
Image caption
Mr Farron said the result was a rejection of a 'hard Brexit'

She added: "The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government, and our message is clear - we do not want a hard Brexit.

"We do not want to be pulled out of the single market, and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win."

She said if Article 50 - the legal process that sparks Britain's exit from the EU - is put to a parliamentary vote, she will vote against it.

"That's been a central part of my campaign and now I've been given a very clear mandate that that's what they [constituents] want me to do," she told the BBC.

But the Conservative Party was quick to dismiss Ms Olney's view, stating: "This result doesn't change anything."

Mr Goldsmith stood down as a Conservative MP in protest at the government's decision to back a third Heathrow runway

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the result "was a remarkable, come-from-nowhere upset that will terrify the Conservatives", but he claimed it was also a rejection of "a hard Brexit".

"This was not just about a Remain versus Leave rerun - this was about people trying to say to Theresa May, 'We do not like the extreme version of Brexit outside the single market you're taking us down,'" he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The other thing that was clearly a concern to voters was they desperately wanted a moderate, decent alternative to the Tories now Labour has shuffled off the main stage - and they were delighted to give the Liberal Democrats the opportunity to be just that."

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg conceded the vote had been about Brexit as Richmond "was a very strong pro-Remain constituency".

He praised Mr Goldsmith's "nobility" for keeping his word, but said it was a "real shame" that an independently minded person like him would no longer be in Parliament.

Six candidates lost their deposits in the election

By Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

In a year of political upsets, another.

Sarah Olney joined the Liberal Democrats only 18 months ago. She now becomes the party's ninth MP.

As soon as the polls closed last night, the width of Lib Dem smiles pointed to an extraordinary result.

A party of government shrivelled to a rump at last year's general election had rediscovered its mojo in this rich, pro-European corner of south-west London.

Zac Goldsmith had hoped this contest would be a referendum on the prospect of even more planes thundering through the skies here if Heathrow Airport gets bigger.

But, instead, it was June's EU referendum that dominated.

Seventy per cent of voters here backed Remain. But Zac Goldsmith didn't. The Liberal Democrats, unapologetically pro-EU, ruthlessly exploited this.

Sarah Olney told me she would vote against triggering Article 50 - the formal mechanism for starting Brexit.

But the country voted Leave, even if this seat didn't, and the government will press on regardless.

For Zac Goldsmith this was his second political humiliation of the year - beaten by Labour to be London Mayor, beaten by the Lib Dems in his own backyard. And leaving Theresa May's slender majority looking even thinner.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's lead Brexit negotiator and chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, tweeted his good wishes to Ms Olney.

"Congratulations @sarahjolney1 and @LibDems. Europe is watching & we are proud #IamEuropean," he wrote.

Mr Goldsmith, who campaigned for Leave in the referendum, quit as the Tory MP for the constituency in October so he could fight a by-election as an independent on an anti-Heathrow Airport expansion ticket.

At the time, the Conservatives said they "disagreed" with Mr Goldsmith's decision but would not field a candidate against him.

Who is Sarah Olney?

Sarah OlneyImage copyright Getty Images
A relative newcomer to politics, Sarah Olney said she was compelled to join the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election.

In her victory speech, she said: "A year and a half ago I wasn't involved in politics, I wasn't a member of a political party, I had never been involved in a political campaign, I had never thought about being a politician.

"But I knew I was a liberal.

"When I saw what happened in the general election last year I felt I had to get involved."

Ms Olney, who lives in North Kingston with her husband Ben and two children, works as a qualified accountant at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.

After his defeat was announced, Mr Goldsmith said: "This by-election was not a political calculation.

"It was a promise that I made and it was a promise that I kept.

"I wish Sarah well in her very, very important job and I hope she serves this community as well as this community deserves."

Sarah Olney with her husband Ben and Lib Dem supportersImage copyright PA
Image caption
Ms Olney polled 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith's 18,638

A Conservative Party spokesman said the result would make no difference to Brexit plans.

He said: "The government remains committed to leaving the European Union and triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year."

Full result:
◾Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrats) - 20,510
◾Zac Goldsmith (Independent) - 18,638
◾Christian Wolmar (Labour Party) - 1,515
◾Howling Laud Hope (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) - 184
◾Fiona Natasha Syms, (Independent) - 173
◾Dominic Francis Stockford, (Christian Peoples Alliance) - 164
◾Maharaja Jammu and Kashmir (One Love Party) - 67
◾David Powell - 32

Turnout = 53.6%

Ms Olney was elected with a majority of 1,872 votes, compared with a Conservative Party majority of 23,015 at the 2015 general election.


Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May rebuked over Brexit in UK by-election

Liberal Democrats gain Richmond seat after backlash over Heathrow runway and EU vote

8 hours ago by: George Parker and Richard Waters

Theresa May was given a warning shot on Brexit after the pro-European Liberal Democrats staged a major upset at the Richmond Park by-election in south-west London, overturning a 23,000 majority.

The victor, Sarah Olney, hailed the result as a defeat for “the politics of anger” and a rejection of a “hard Brexit”.

“We don’t want to be pulled out of the single market and we will not let intolerance win,” she said.

Ms Olney defeated Zac Goldsmith, a pro-Brexit former Conservative who contested the seat as an independent after triggering a by-election in protest against Mrs May’s approval of a third runway at Heathrow airport.

The Lib Dems polled 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638 in one of Britain’s richest constituencies, the most remarkable display of anger about Brexit since the June referendum to leave the EU.

While Mr Goldsmith, a vocal environmentalist, tried to turn the by-election into a vote on Heathrow expansion, the Lib Dems succeeded in turning it into a protest against Brexit and what the party sees as rising intolerance.

In a constituency with many foreign-born residents and City bankers, the Lib Dems reported that Mrs May’s recent statement that, “if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere” was also cited on the doorstep as a reason to vote for the party.

Mrs May is under pressure from Conservative Eurosceptics to push for an early “clean break” with the EU, leaving the single market and customs union in the process.

But the residents of Richmond Park, where 70 per cent of voters wanted to remain in the EU, signalled their intention to retain close ties with the EU after Brexit.

“I think a lot of people in this community had the same feeling this summer,” Ms Olney said in her victory speech. “Richmond Park is full of people like me who felt that something was going wrong: that the politics of anger and division were on the rise.

“We were seeing the Ukip vision for Britain in the ascendancy — intolerant, backward-looking, divisive; just as we see it in America and across Europe. Well, today we have said no. We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open, tolerant, united Britain that we believe in.”

The Lib Dems, like Mr Goldsmith, opposed the expansion of Heathrow, helping to neutralise the issue in an area affected by aircraft noise.

The result is a big morale boost for the party, which was reduced to a rump of eight MPs in 2015 after governing for five years in David Cameron’s coalition. Ms Olney becomes the party’s only female member in the House of Commons.

Nick Clegg, former leader of the Lib Dems and coalition deputy prime minister, described the result as a “fantastic win”. “This shows the hard Brexiters that they need to think again,” he said on Twitter.

But the Conservatives insisted the result “doesn’t change anything”.

“The government remains committed to leaving the European Union and triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year,” a spokesman said.

“In addition, we will continue to take decisive action in the national interest to secure the UK’s place in the world — supporting a third runway at Heathrow to secure jobs and business opportunities for the next decade and beyond.”

Mr Goldsmith, who ran unsuccessfully as Tory candidate for London mayor this year, was a personal supporter of Brexit, echoing the Euroscepticism of his late father, financier Sir James Goldsmith.

The Tories did not put up a candidate in the by-election, instead opting to back Mr Goldsmith rather than risk dividing the vote and handing victory to the Lib Dems. Labour candidate Christian Wolmar finished with 1,515 votes.

Winner joined Lib Dems only last year

Sarah Olney joined the Lib Dems only last year, when she decided “sitting on the sofa shouting at the telly wasn’t enough”, writes John Murray Brown.

An accountant by training, the 39-year-old worked at the National Physical Laboratory, a government agency in Bushy Park.

She is state-school educated and read English literature at King’s College London. She lives in a semi-detached house in the Richmond Park constituency.

She shared her opponent Zac Goldsmith’s opposition to the third runway at Heathrow. However, her campaign almost came unstuck when it was revealed her husband, a town planner, had worked for Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly BAA, on the delivery of Terminal 5.

She said during the campaign that if elected, she would take it as a mandate to vote against the triggering of Article 50, the legal step needed to start the process of the UK leaving the EU.

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after by-election loss , Is Brexit in jeopardy ?

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