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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Lib Dems announce Caroline Pidgeon for 2016

The Liberal Democrats today announced Caroline Pidgeon, who is a member of the London Assembly, as the party's candidate for the 2016 London Mayoral election. Ms Pidgeon was the only nominated candidate but under the Liberal Democrat's rules London party members had to vote on whether to accept Ms Pidgeon as their candidate or to reopen nominations. The London Lib Dems endorsed her as their candidate and today the Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon said she would fight for a London which served the many, and not the few.

Caroline Pidgeon
image courtesy of the Liberal Democrats

Commenting on her selection as Lib Dem candidate and what she sees as the problems in London Caroline Pidgeon said: “London is a great city, but the huge potential it offers is not available to everyone. We need to tackle the brain drain to London's economy caused by too many women not returning to work in part due to the high cost of childcare. We also need to end the scandal of too many young people struggling to rent, let alone buy a property. Unless we tackle these barriers London will continue to be a city that serves the few, not the many."

The Liberal Democrats say that Caroline Pidgeon’s campaign will focus on:
  • Supply of housing to meet demand and the scandal of high rents
  • Flexibility and affordability of childcare
  • Air pollution
  • Transport fares that meet modern day lifestyles

Ms Pidgeon said: “London is also a city with a shameful record of air pollution which particularly affects the health of children and older Londoners, sending thousands of people each year to an early grave. It is a privilege to be selected as the Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate and to head up our London election campaign for the Mayor and London Assembly."

"Now more than ever we need to stand up for liberal values and ensure that we deliver a Liberal London where we welcome people fleeing persecution, embrace the huge advantages of being part of the EU and ensure that each and every citizen is treated equally." Caroline Pidgeon added.

Green candidate Sian Berry took to twitter to Congratulate Caroline Pidgeon, being confirmed as Liberal Democrat candidate for London 2016. Saying she is "looking forward to some serious, Boris-free debates coming up" during next years election campaign.

Confirmed candidates for 2016 so far are:
  • Sian Berry - Green
  • George Galloway - Respect
  • Lindsey Garrett - Something New
  • Sadiq Khan - Labour
  • Caroline Pidgeon - Liberal Democrat
  • Roselind Readhead - Ban private cars in London
  • Upkar Singh Rai - National Liberal 
  • Yanek Zylinski - Independent (anti-UKIP)
Although not confirmed, it is widely expected that the Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith will be the Tory candidate. UKIP are also yet to confirm their candidate and have ten candidates interested in the role including the party's Deputy Chairperson Suzanne Evans and Winston McKenzie who stood for mayor in 2008 as an Independent. Alan Craig who also stood in 2008 fir Christian People's Alliance is also trying to be the UKIP candidate.

Siobhan Benita who was an Independent candidate in 2012 and beat both the British National Party and the UK Independence party has yet to decide whether to have another crack at running in 2016.