Sir Ed Davey to stand for Lib Dems in old Kingston and Surbiton seat at snap election

Jonathan Mitchell
Return: Sir Ed Davey

Former climate secretary Sir Ed Davey is to stand again for the Lib Dems in his old Kingston and Surbiton seat at the snap election in June.

During the 2015 election, Sir Ed became the first secretary of state to lose his seat after being defeated by almost 3,000 votes to Tory James Berry.

But Sir Ed told the Standard on Tuesday he would be putting his name forward after Theresa May’s surprise announcement of a June 8 election.

It comes after Sir Vince Cable, also defeated in 2015, said he would be standing for his old seat in Twickenham.

Former Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Simon Hughes also said he was intending to be the party's candidate to fight the Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat in south London which he lost in 2015.

Sir Ed told the Standard: “I'm hugely excited. The 18 years I sat in Parliament for Kingston and Surbiton were a huge honour for me.

“I think it's going to be quite close between us.”

He went on: “We are the only UK party that consistently opposed Brexit, so the 48 per cent of people who chose to remain and the people who chose to leave who realise that they were tricked should come to the Liberal Democrats.

“People can at least try and influence the nature of Brexit.”

He added: “It will be so damaging to people who live in our area, but it won't just be about Brexit.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron indicated the party’s ambition at the election is to prevent the Tories having an outright majority giving his party leverage over the terms of Brexit.

"If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance," he said.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority."

But Sir Ed told the Standard: “Some people have said they want the coalition back again.

“I don't want it back, personally I don't think we can work with a Conservative Government intent on Brexit.

“People will see the green agenda, the fair agenda that we provided and see how out of touch the Conservatives have been.

“They can compare. It will reflect positively about what the Liberal Democrats achieved.

“They've made the country more divided than people can remember in generations. What we offer is a breath of fresh air.”

Sarah Olney's success in the recent Richmond Park by-election will give the Lib Dems hope that Sir Ed and Sir Vince can lead a resurgence in parts of the country that backed Remain.

Speaking earlier, Sir Vince said he was "surprised" Mrs May had gone back on her pledge to wait until 2020.

While Brexit was "a big issue for people in this area, with a Remain vote of about 70 per cent", he said he would also be campaigning on topics like Heathrow expansion, social care and cuts to local schools.

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