Lib Dems target the borough's Remainers

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

The borough’s three Liberal Democrat candidates will provide a voice for residents who voted to remain in the European Union, the party has said.

Two of their election hopefuls return for a second bid to become an MP with Mark Clayton standing in Wigan and John Skipworth in Makerfield having stood in 2015.

Meanwhile, Richard Kilpatrick will stand for the Leigh seat vacated by Andy Burnham.

Borough chairman Stuart Thomas said the party is reaching out to the 58,000 in the borough to have voted remain in addition to “fighting for those that have been let down by Theresa May’s hard Brexit.”

He said: “The Tories are giving us a hard Brexit that was never on the ballot paper, and our local Labour MPs have given it their blessing.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for the remain voter and single market membership.”

Former borough chairman John Skipworth, who is taking on Yvonne Fovargue for a second time, said: “In Makerfield, and elsewhere in the borough, we’ve seen a Labour party prepared to turn its back on local opinion - you only need to look at their enthusiasm for the spatial framework to see that.

“I want to listen to the views of local people, not pretend that I know best.”

The local party says it has seen its membership quadruple since the last general election when the national party lost dozens of MPs following its coalition with the Conservatives.

On a national level, Tim Farron’s party has said its membership is set to pass the 100,000 mark following a surge of new recruits in the wake of Theresa May’s announcement of a snap general election.

Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “People want a strong opposition to Theresa May’s hard Brexit agenda and the Liberal Democrats are the only party challenging them up and down the country.”