Nigel Farage’s Brexit party have appointed a candidate to contest the parliamentary seat of Hastings & Rye at any forthcoming general election. He is Tom Bewick, a former Labour party councillor who served as the chairman of the education committee for Brighton and Hove City Council. 

Sitting MP Amber Rudd recently joined Boris Johnson’s cabinet with, apparently, an explicit pledge, demanded from all cabinet members, to work towards Britain’s exit from the EU on 31st October, “no ifs, no buts” (see “A Woman For All Seasons”). 

However, that’s clearly not sufficient from Mr Bewick’s point of view. He was quoted in the Daily Mail earlier this week: “Hastings voted to leave in 2016, but it is represented by an MP that has done everything possible to thwart our departure from the EU. Amber Rudd has also voted three times for the failed Withdrawal Agreement, which would deliver Brexit in name only.”

Defending a slim majority of just 346 votes, Ms Rudd’s seat looks at serious risk if she haemorrhages support from Brexiteers as well as being opposed by Remainers. Political observers will recall that at the last election in 2015 the Green Party withdrew its candidate in favour of Labour to give the latter’s candidate, Peter Chowney, a better prospect of toppling her. And with the idea of electoral pacts gaining favour nationally on the Remainer side after the Liberal Democrat victory in the Brecon & Radnorshire by-election last week, divided candidacies between the Tories and the Brexit Party will give a huge opportunity for any combined opposition next time round.

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