Financier Nicola Horlick has become the latest high profile Liberal Democrat candidate for a London parliamentary constituency as the party seeks to maximise its impact in the capital at the next general election.
Horlick, who rose to prominence in the 1990s for combining a successful career in the City with being the mother of six children, will contest the strongly Remain-leaning Chelsea & Fulham seat, currently held by Brexit-backing Conservative Greg Hands.
Described by her party as a “life-long Liberal Democrat”, Horlick will hope to make the seat into a three-way marginal, capitalising on both the Tories’ aggressive approach to delivering Brexit under Boris Johnson and the lingering ambiguity of Labour’s stance on the issue under Jeremy Corbyn.
Hands won Chelsea & Fulham in 2017 by a 8,188 votes over his Labour runner-up, taking 52.6 per cent of the vote, with the Lib Dem candidate a distant third. But Horlick has urged constituents to “lend” her her their vote in order to “stop Brexit”.
The Lib Dems surged to a good second place finish behind Labour at council by-election in a Fulham & Chelsea ward last month, with the Conservatives slumping to third. However, Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for the neighbouring Hammersmith constituency, described his party as “jubilant” rather than relieved at holding a seat in a ward it deprived the Tories of only five years ago. He argued that if the the large local Remain majority backs Labour’s general election candidate Matthew Uberoi, he can oust Hands.
Horlick’s candidacy follows those of Luciana Berger in Finchley & Golders Green and her fellow former Labour MP Chuka Umunna in Cities of London & Westminster. In these cases too, Lib Dem candidates finished distant thirds in 2017, but the new ones will draw confidence from their parties taking the largest vote shares in May’s European elections.
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