Lib Dem’s deputy resigns to focus on winning ‘target’ seat in parliamentary elections

The deputy leader of the Stockholm Liberal Democrats group has resigned to focus on her bid to become a Member of Parliament.

Councilor Lisa Smart will now concentrate her efforts on combating the marginal constituency of Hazel Grove in the next general election.

She will be replaced in the role of Count Wendy Meikle, the longtime Offerton parish councilor.

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Hazel Grove is currently owned by the conservative William Wragg, but a 5-pc swing would give it to the Lib Dems – making it one of the party’s top goals at the national level.

Lib Dem’s hopes of winning the seat for the first time since 2010 have been bolstered by recent midterm victories over the Tories in North Shropshire – where they toppled a 23,000 majority – and Chesham and Amersham.

Coun Smart said she was “happy” to be re-elected to the constituency, claiming Hazel Grove was “let down” by the Conservatives.

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She added: “Our territory is being taken for granted by Boris Johnson’s government and it deserves better.

“We need a Member of Parliament who will stand up for our area in Parliament and fight against the malice and corruption of Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.

“I’ve loved working with Mark Hunter as his deputy for the last five years, but with a parliamentary election just around the corner, I felt it was the perfect time to step down from my deputy role so I can concentrate on getting Hazel Grove to the MP it deserves. “

Coun Smart will continue as councilor for Bredbury Green and Romiley and member of the shadow cabinet.

Wendy Meikle

Her successor in the role of deputy leader, Count Meikle, believes that her colleague has ‘made the absolutely right decision’.

She added: “She works tirelessly on behalf of our communities and is truly the MP we deserve.

“On a personal level, I’m glad my colleagues have chosen me to serve them and support Mark Hunter in leading the group.”

Councilor Mark Hunter, head of the Stockport’s Lib Dem group, added: “I would like to write my thanks to Lisa for all her hard work as Deputy Head.

“I understand her decision to focus her efforts on becoming the next Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove, and she has my full support.

“I thank my colleagues for choosing her replacement, and I look forward to having the same constructive relationship with Wendy that I have had with Lisa.”

The next parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in May 2024 in accordance with the law on time-limited parliaments.

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