Liz Webster, the LibDem candidate who came second to the withdrawn winning Conservative candidate, Jonathon Seed in the race to become the next Swindon and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner has decided not to go forward for ‘personal and family reasons’, and her replacement will be Wiltshire Councillor Dr Brian Matthew, recently re-elected Councillor for the Box & Colerne Division.
“I have a clear, practical programme to make our streets, homes and communities safer places to live, work and visit. I want our police to be more visible in our communities and work more closely with councils, community safety volunteers and civic groups to achieve that goal.” Stated the new LibDem candidate, Dr Brian Matthew.
Adding: “The result of the May election shows our next Police and Crime Commissioner will either be me or a Conservative. I am absolutely up for this battle and teaching the Conservatives their unforgettable lesson; that they cannot waste £1.5m of taxpayers’ money or treat voters with such contempt.
“Consequently, I call on those who did, and indeed did not vote for Liz in May, to get behind me and deliver a resounding victory for respect for our police and fellow residents, greater community safety and proper standards for elected representatives in public life”.
Liz Webster explained why she has decided not to pursue the candidacy: “When I learned there would have to be a by-election, I assumed that just like when an MP or Councillor resigns or dies, that election would take place promptly, only to discover it will not happen for three months. This was an exhausting election campaign and the prospect of another three months of campaigning simply does not work for me for personal and family reasons.
“So I am disappointed to say that I am stepping away from the candidacy, but I will still be working with the campaign team and I am delighted my good friend Cllr Dr Brian Mathew is stepping up”.
She wanted to express her thanks to all those that gave her their support: “Finally I want to thank the 58,074 people who voted for me in May and everyone who helped me in the campaign, including my brilliant campaign team and my Agent.”
At this stage marlborough.news has not been informed of any other changes of candidate. Obviously Jonathon Seed won’t be standing again for the Conservatives – short of some seismic re-interpretation / change in the rules regarding who can/can’t stand, and no news received as yet regarding Junab Ali who stood for Labour or any of the other two previous candidates.
Liz Webster restated her support for her replacement, Dr Brian Mathew: ”Brian will make an outstanding Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon. He fought strongly to win this post five years ago and has been an active and respected participant on the Police and Crime Panel for the last four years. I will do all I can to get him elected.”