Rutland candidates announced for Brexit Party and Lib Dems
The two parties with the most contrasting polices on the EU have announced their general election candidates.
The Brexit Party has selected 70-year-old RAF veteran Jim Bennett, while the Liberal Democrats have chosen Dr Carol Weaver, chairman of the pro-EU Leicestershire and Rutland European Movement.
The pair will fight against Conservative MP Sir Alan Duncan for the seat, plus other yet to be announced candidates.
Jim Bennett, who now lives at Sudbrooke, near Lincoln, spent 37 years in the RAF and has been based at many RAF bases across the UK, with his last ‘tour’ at RAF Waddington.
The father of four adult children has also served 10 years as a Justice of the Peace, 10 years as a parish councillor in Skellingthorpe, near Lincoln, and spent 11 years working in schools with children who have special needs.
Jim says he was previously an independent councillor and joining the Brexit Party is his first foray into party politics.
“It’s because of what I feel about Brexit, that the people have been let down. We are being badly ignored and it looks as if Boris Johnson will do the same again.”
Despite not living in the constituency, Jim says he knows it well by living in Lincolnshire for 18 years.
His wife Alison worked in speech and language therapy, with a job based in Leicester, which included ‘outreach’ to Melton and
If elected, Jim pledged he would move into the constituency. He added: “What’s more, I will campaign tirelessly for a clean break Brexit as this will give us the greatest chance of world-class free trading success.”
Dr Carol Weaver of the Liberal Democrats is a former lecturer at Leicester’s De Montford University with a PhD in European security.
Until last year, Carol lived 14 years in Ashwell, Rutland,before moving to Kibworth, near Leicester. She has also worked in the NHS in Stamford.
Carol does not want the people of Rutland and Leicestershire to lose their European citizenship.
She also says she cares strongly about the planet, the environment, the NHS (including mental health and social care) and education (including special needs and universities).
The Rutland and Melton Lib Dems say they are proud to be the leading Remain party in the region and agree with leader Jo Swinson’s policy to revoke Article 50 notification to withdraw from the EU, but only if the party receives a mandate to do so from the public. Revoking is the only way to stop Brexit quickly, they said.
Carol continued: “But we are not a party with just one policy. We are excited to have just outlined our policies for a green economy, a fairer and safer society, ring-fenced money for the NHS and social care and increased funding for schools and vocational education.”
She added: “As a society we have been losing our values and even debating if politicians in government are entitled to lie to the public and break the law for their own gains.
“Our party believes in integrity, transparency, the rule of law and the need to reform the system and bring back trust. Let’s bring an end to the current political extremism.”
Rutland and Melton is normally seen as a safe Conservative seat, with the constituency seeing a narrow win for ‘Leave’ in the 2016 EU Referendum.
But during the 2019 EU Elections, in Rutland county, the Brexit Party topped the poll with the Lib Dems second and the Tories third.
Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan has been approached to outline his policies.
In Grantham and Stamford, the Conservatives have announced Yorkshireman Gareth Davies as their candidate.
The Brexit Party has announced Grantham businesswoman Jessica Swift as its candidate.