Lib Dems launch bid to recoup lost election deposit

John Skipworth, who stood for the Lib Dems in Makerfield, at June's General Election
John Skipworth, who stood for the Lib Dems in Makerfield, at June's General Election

Cash-strapped Liberal Democrats have set up a crowdfunding campaign to recoup their lost deposits from June's snap General Election.

Stuart Thomas, the party's local chairman, set up the page in a bid to recover the £500 fees paid to field candidates in three borough constituencies.

Candidate at a General Election pay a deposit, which is only returned if they attract more than five per cent of the votes cast.

All three Lib Dems in Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield failed to win enough support to be officially reimbursed.

It is believed to be one of the first times that a major political party has resorted to crowdfunding to win back deposits.

Nate Rydings, who stood for the UK Independence Party in Wigan, called the move "desperate and unprofessional".

"I was fully aware of the requirements and I was also aware of the circumstances surrounding my party and the General Election," he said.

"I still decided to put myself forward as a candidate and I put the £500 forward with my own money, knowing full well that if I lost my deposit then that would have been it.

"This clearly shows the lack of support for the Lib Dems."

But Green Party candidate Will Patterson backed the party's strategy and said: "It's particularly important for smaller parties in the area, who don't always have the backing of key businesses or organisations."

The crowdfunding page expires on September 16. As of yesterday, no money has been donated. The Lib Dems declined to comment.