Harrogate Lib Dems to unveil new parliamentary candidate by 'the end of summer'

Harrogate & Knaresborough Liberal Democrats are expected to have a new parliamentary candidate by the end of the summer.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 24th June 2022, 3:59 pm

David Goode, constituency chairman for the Harrogate and Knaresborough Lib Dems, said the process of picking a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate would begin shortly following Judith Rogerson’s decision not stand at the next election for health and family reasons.

In a tweet last Thursday, Mrs Rogerson, who increased the Lib Dems’ share of the vote in 2019 by more than 12%, winning 20,287 votes, compared to sitting Tory MP Andrew Jones who won 29,962, said: “I loved my time as the candidate in Harrogate and Knaresborough and am proud of everything we achieved.

Judith Rogerson has stepped down as Harrogate and Knaresborough Lib Dems’ parliamentary candidate.

“Lots of things have changed for me in the past 18 months.

“Last year I had to step back from politics after I needed major surgery for cancer.

“Happily I am fully recovered and 2022 has been much kinder with a wedding and, in the autumn, a new member of our family.

“Whoever is the candidate next time will be starting from a strong position and I will be supporting them all the way.”

Harrogate Lib Dems’ constituency chairman David Goode said he wished the former candidate well and it would now be up to members to select a replacement.

The Lib Dems' aim, said Mr Goode, is to build on the party's momentum in May’s elections to the new, larger county council which saw Harrogate and Knaresborough's buoyant Lib Dems became the biggest council group in the area.

But, he added, he was conscious that, although the Government was not required to hold a general election until December 2024 in line with the maximum five-year parliamentary term, there was always the possibility that Prime Minister Boris Johnson might hold a snap election.

That possibility may have receded today, Friday after the Government suffered two disastrous by-election results in Tiverton & Honiton, where the Liberal Democrats overturned the biggest Conservative margin in a byelection, and in Wakefield where Labour won with a 12.7 per cent swing.

Closer to home, May’s county council elections, which set the scene for the abolition of Harrogate Borough Council next year and the arrival of a new North Yorkshire unitary authority, saw Harrogate’s Lib Dems win 10 wards compared to nine for the Conservatives.

Mr Goode said: “The local election results clearly showed that voters in Harrogate and Knaresborough have had enough of this Government, with voters putting Boris’s Conservatives on notice,” said Mr Goode.

“We know our new PPC will continue to build on Judith’s achievements, as we continue to build momentum towards the next election.

“The Lib Dems will be campaigning for a win at the next general election, be that in the autumn, 2023 or early 2024.”