Lib Dems will stand on their own merits | Letters

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Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron campaigning in St Albans. ‘Only by electing more Liberal Democrat MPs can we gain the influence needed to stop a hard Brexit,’ write Tom Brake MP and others. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

What a sour letter aimed at the Lib Dems from Christopher Clayton (25 April). He accuses them of trying to “mine votes” from the 48% who voted remain. Why shouldn’t they? Unlike others, they have always had an unswerving commitment to the European ideal. They are also a political party and can achieve nothing without voter support. I’m certain that the Lib Dems will garner rather more seats than Mr Clayton imagines.

As for the current Labour party under Corbyn, it has little chance of immediate major success. Its members need to wake up to the fact that giving Corbyn their enthusiastic support in leadership contests is quite different from the business of pulling in votes during parliamentary elections. It’s true that for anti-Tory voters, the Labour party remains the main opposition in many areas – but not everywhere, and people deserve a choice. Party lines should be flexible and work for the greater good – in this case, to control the fervour of the Brexit hardliners and to deny them a blank cheque.
Richard Harris
Watlington, Oxfordshire

• The mayor of London has rightly said that the general election is an opportunity for voters to show they are opposed to this government’s hard Brexit. The best way to do that is to vote Liberal Democrat. We are the only party committed to remaining in the single market, a benefit that many who voted leave, as well as remain, support. Retaining our single market membership is just one of the amendments that we tabled to the article 50 bill. Labour and Tory MPs alike rejected it. We also put forward an amendment to secure the rights of EU citizens living in Britain, as well as Britons living elsewhere in the European Union, which was ignored.

EU citizens will unfortunately be denied the opportunity to vote in this election unless they have dual citizenship. This is, therefore, the perfect opportunity to show what an open, tolerant and united city London really is. Only by electing more Liberal Democrat MPs can we gain the influence needed to stop a hard Brexit.
Tom Brake MP Carshalton and Wallington
Sarah Olney MP Richmond Park and North Kingston
Caroline Pidgeon Leader, Liberal Democrat London assembly group
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidates:
Jonathan Fryer Dagenham and Rainham, Lib Dem Brexit spokesperson for London
Annabel Mullin Kensington
Louise Rowntree Chelsea and Fulham
Alex Harding Westminster North
Sir Simon Hughes Bermondsey and Old Southwark
Bridget Fox Cities of London and Westminster
Dave Raval Hackney South and Shoreditch
Benjamin Sims Leyton and Wanstead
Ukonu Obasi Walthamstow
Jon Ball Ealing Central and Acton
Keith Angus Islington North
Elaine Bagshaw Poplar and Limehouse
Dawn Barnes Hornsey and Wood Green
Ryan Mercer Putney
Joe Richards Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Bill Newton Dunn Hayes and Harlington
Joyce Onstad Hammersmith
Nigel Bakhai Ealing Southall
Amna Ahmad Sutton and Cheam
Carl Quilliam Wimbledon
Stephen Crosher Holborn and St Pancras
George Turner Vauxhall
Kirsty Allan Hampstead and Kilburn
Marianne Magnin Mouvement Démocrate parliamentary candidate for Northern Europe in the French legislative elections and member of the executive committee of Westminster and City of London Liberal Democrats



























• Open Britain need to do their homework. They have got the wrong Norman Lamb on their defence targets (Remain group seeks to oust pro-Brexit MPs, 25 April). The Norman Lamb standing for the Lib Dems in North Norfolk was barely visible during the EU referendum campaign. Even worse, since then, Norman Lamb abstained on the key article 50 vote in the Commons. As usual, Lamb sat on the fence trying to appease Brexiters in North Norfolk who he hoped might vote for him. Only Labour in North Norfolk campaigned week in, week out for a remain vote. Only Labour strongly opposed Brexit and only Labour will fight to get the best deal for Britain – for the many not the few.
Stephen Burke
Chair, North Norfolk Labour party

• For those of us who dread the thought of five more years of failed austerity, dished out by a Tory government with an increased majority, the Lib Dems have done us a great favour (Lib Dems won’t do coalition deals: Farron pledge to voters, Observer, 23 April). This means that the Lynton Crosby ploy of frightening us all with warnings of a coalition of chaos is dead in the water. We can now vote without worry and – putting aside our tribal loyalties – for the local candidate who has the best chance of unseating a Tory.

The most likely outcomes would be either a Tory win – but with a wafer-thin majority, making the election an expensive and pointless mistake; or a majority for the anti-Tory parties, which then refuse to form a coalition, forcing the Tories to form a minority government. In either case both the Tory backbench rebels and opposition MPs will be strengthened (welcome back, democracy) and May will be forced into a softer, more sensible, Brexit. Let’s really take control.
Fred Cogger
Maidstone, Kent

• Caroline Lucas (Letters, 25 April) says that to be classed as progressive you must be on the left. In fact the Liberal Democrats, a party rooted firmly in the centre of which I am not only a member, but sit on the local executive and on the local council, do not wish for a progressive alliance. We agree that first past the post is an issue and we want a fairer voting system. But this isn’t a plan for government. There are Green policies that we disagree with and I am positive the Orange Book wing of my party finds the prospect of an alliance with the socialist left to be regressive. We are not just an anti-Tory party. We have our own policies and we will get into government to implement them, be it in 2017 or 2030. We can make a more liberal Britain, but not by getting into bed with the Greens – and the less said about Labour at the moment the better.
Cllr Callum Robertson
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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