Remain candidates refused to stand down and back Claire Wright

PUBLISHED: 15:30 11 November 2019

Claire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire Wright

Claire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire Wright

Matthew Davison

Remain candidates have refused to stand down and throw their support behind independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright.

Last week, the non-party campaign group Unite to Remain identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

However East Devon rivals have refused to do the same.

The organisation behind Unite to Remain has however backed Ms Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon, despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged remain voters to back Ms Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

He added: "It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered.

"Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

"Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon.

"Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller's Remainunited to support the remain candidate with the best chance of victory."

Ms Wright, who won 35 per cent of the votes compared to the Lib Dems' two per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement.

She added: "Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

"I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don't intend to start now.

"I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

"And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement - which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS - by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of remain."

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