General Election 2017: Paddy Ashdown visits St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown visited St Albans today to support Daisy Cooper in her bid to become St Albans’ next MP.
Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon became the third Lib Dem leader to visit the city after Tim Farron and Nick Clegg.
Asked what his party could offer St Albans, the retired MP and former Royal Marine said: “An MP they can love and admire. Somebody who will stand up for St Albans, a genuine local champion.
“And somebody who I believe can represent that overwhelming view which has been expressed in St Albans that what we need is to be as close to Europe as we can be in the post-Brexit era.
“I’m afraid your current MP is not greatly admired or respected in this town.”
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On the recent polling showing Labour gaining on the Conservatives, Paddy said: “I do not think they will gain in some places.
“Mrs May has fought a very bad campaign, and my view is if she is elected, and my judgement is she will be with possibly a much healthier majority than the polls are suggesting, I think she will be the most unpopular Prime Minister of all time upon her election.
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“People are voting for Mrs May by holding their noses, because they know it is better than the alternative.
“In the face of such a campaign of course Labour has risen, who would not? But not in places like this.
“People here know very well that if they vote Labour they merely give the Tory MP a chance she should not have.”
He said Tim Farron had made it very clear the party would not work with Labour in the event of a hung Parliament.
Daisy said: “Tim Farron has made it absolutely clear we won’t go into coalition with Theresa May’s Conservatives, or Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
“Both of them went through the lobbies together to trigger Article 50 without any safeguards for EU nationals, parliamentary scrutiny, or for giving people a say on the final deal.
“Because of those circumstances we simply can’t do a deal with either of them.”
Paddy met local party members at the base of St Albans Clock Tower, before going canvassing around the city.