Joe Richards, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, says that the surprise election called by the Prime Minister for June 8th is the opportunity the people living in the constituency have been waiting for. The incumbent Labour MP Diane Abbott voted with the Tories to trigger Article 50 and start the hard Brexit process which led to much anger and criticism towards her and the Labour Party in the borough.
“So many people just felt so angry and let down, firstly, when she failed to turn up for the first vote. Then the second vote where she clearly went against the wishes of the people of Hackney who voted overwhelmingly in favour of an open, tolerant Britain inside the EU.”
Hackney was one of the most remain areas in the UK with 78.5% of people voting to stay in the EU and Diane Abbott’s support of Labour’s three line whip to vote in favour of triggering Article 50 led to swathes of new members and support for the Liberal Democrats in the borough.
Speaking whilst busily preparing the Liberal Democrat campaign, Joe said,
“Hackney North and Stoke Newington is a community passionately in favour of the liberal values of the EU and Diane Abbott has let them down by becoming a Brexit Cheerleader, voting through Article 50 without any amendments on key issues such as EU citizen’s right to stay or a meaningful vote on the final deal.”
Joe Richards, having lived in the area for the past decade says the Liberal Democrats have a lot more to offer besides opposing Brexit and is passionate about bringing as much local power to the people of Hackney North and Stoke Newington as possible.
“Brexit has been an opportunity for us to talk to so many new people in Hackney and what is clear is that Labour has taken people’s votes in the borough for granted.” Joe said adding, “Our opposition at national level has been far superior to Corbyn’s inept Labour Party but the council seats that we have been winning week in and week out, up and down the Country show how strong we are on local issues. I want to be a campaigning MP working to keep the local economy thriving, providing decent jobs, housing and a higher standard of living for residents.”
Joe is the co-founder of a local charity based in East London committed to making economics accessible, and has worked with local residents, schools and workplaces to start new discussions of what our local economy could be, and to encourage everybody to learn how to shape their own futures. Joe said,
“The gap between rich and poor in Hackney is something the Liberal Democrats have never stopped campaigning to reduce and that will absolutely be a top priority for me.”
The Liberal Democrats are extremely positive about their chances in Hackney North and Stoke Newington and asked what his message directly to the people of Hackney would be, Joe said,
“My message to the people of Hackney North and Stoke Newington is simple. Labour are supporting a Tory hard Brexit that nobody voted for and will be catastrophic economically for Britain as well damaging the open, tolerant values that we cherish so much in this incredibly diverse borough.
“Despite lots of talk by Diane Abbott on Brexit, when it came down to the votes in Parliament where she had a chance to stand up for the residents of Hackney, she did what Labour do best, provide zero opposition.
“Liberal Democrats are the only real opposition to the Tory Brexit Government.”