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Lib Dem challenger to Keir Starmer says he is fighting for ‘tolerant Britain’

Keir Starmer confirms he will stand again in Labour stronghold

20 April, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Stephen Crosher is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Holborn and St Pancras

HOLBORN and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer already knows who one of his opponents at the snap general election will be, as his Liberal Democrat opponent vowed to make an impact at the polls with an anti-Brexit message.

Stephen Crosher, who is also the Lib Dem candidate in next month’s council by-election in Gospel Oak, said the party was ready to take on Mr Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, head-on, with no talk of electoral pacts between the parties even being considered here.

The Lib Dems are spear­heading their attempts at a comeback on the issue of Europe, and Mr Crosher said: “For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the single market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance. The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government, and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”

Keir Starmer with fellow MP Tulip Siddiq on election night in 2015

The Tories and the Greens are still working on a selection process to find candidates in Holborn and St Pancras. Mr Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions who became an MP for the first time in 2015, goes into battle with a majority in excess of 17,000 votes.

He is now one of the party’s most high-profile MPs and may be expected to help out in other constituencies during the campaign due to the lead he has on his own turf. He was automatically re-selected as the candidate – an option for all sitting Labour MPs due to the speed at which they need to be ready for the campaign.

“Britain is now more divided that it was on June 23rd [2016] or at any time in my lifetime,” he said. “That represents a complete failure by Theresa May to bring the country together behind a bold and confident future for Britain outside the EU. “Every step of the way Labour has sought to put the national interest first and to build a national consensus around our future relationship with the EU – not as members, but as partners.”

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