The forthcoming general election comes at a critical time for the country. We have a government that’s completely run out of steam and whose key objective seems to be remaining in power rather than trying to solve the serious challenges we all face. It’s vital that we have a change in government and that’s why the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate, Cllr Lee Dillon, has decided to take a sabbatical from being Leader of West Berkshire Council and focus on serving the best interests of the people of Newbury.
Speaking about his difficult decision, Cllr Dillon said:
“This general election is the best chance for a Liberal Democrat win in Newbury since our by-election victory in 1993. The huge YouGov poll from last week marked Newbury as a win for the Liberal Democrats, and this is in line with predictions from others like ElectionMapsUK, but it will very close. The local party has put their faith in me as their candidate and it’s absolutely right that I focus my efforts on listening to as many Newbury constituents as possible over the coming months. This will allow me to fully represent the people in Newbury in parliament. I’m looking forward to fighting a positive campaign.”
“Integrity and transparency are central to who I am, so there was no way I could ever present myself as Leader and take the Leader’s allowance while spending my time elsewhere. My focus for the next few months is on winning the Newbury parliamentary seat and so I must step back from being Leader of the Council.
It’s been a real honour to serve as Leader over the last eight months. We have developed an ambitious four-year strategy to deliver for our residents, and have put in place key changes to make for a more transparent and accountable administration - for example, we have endured that the Scrutiny Committee is chaired by a member of the opposition. I will continue to serve on the Executive as Portfolio Holder for Public Safety and offer my unequivocal support to Cllr Jeff Brooks, who is stepping up to Acting Leader.”
“The people of Newbury deserve a fair deal and they have not been getting that from either the Conservative government or their Conservative MP. We have a cost of living crisis, a crisis in the NHS and ongoing sewage discharges into our rivers. If elected as MP I will stand up for the people of Newbury on these and other issues that are important to all of us.”
“I am proud to have led the Liberal Democrats to a landslide victory in the local election last May and will do all I can to win in the general election later this year.”