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General Election 2017: Terry Stacy steps down as Lib Dem candidate for Islington South and Finsbury

PUBLISHED: 19:19 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:35 24 April 2017

Terry Stacy has stood down as Liberal Democrat candidate for Islington South and Finsbury. Picture: Polly Hancock

Terry Stacy has stood down as Liberal Democrat candidate for Islington South and Finsbury. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Terry Stacy tonight stood down as Liberal Democrat candidate for Islington South and Finsbury.

Alain Desmier is the new Lib Dem candidate for Islington South and Finsbury.Alain Desmier is the new Lib Dem candidate for Islington South and Finsbury.

The shock announcement comes just two days after the election was called. Mr Stacy had confidently predicted the 12,708 majority of current Labour MP Emily Thornberry’s would “crumble before her eyes” after she voted for Brexit in Parliament.

His replacement for the June 8 poll is Alain Desmier.

Mr Stacy said: “The Prime Minister called a snap General Election this week, which shocked most of the country, including me. Suddenly as the prospective candidate for Islington South and Finsbury I needed to make a decision about my future.

“Having discussed this at length with my husband, Paul, I have decided to step down from this role due to extensive work and family commitments. This election has been called at the worst time for me.

“In my current role as head of office for the Liberal Democrats at the Local Government Association, I am committed to helping all our councillors and councils throughout the country, which involves a large amount of work, travel and weekends away. Given there are local elections throughout the country on May 4, I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to leading the fight in Islington.

Emily Thornberry has been Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury for 12 years. Picture: Polly HancockEmily Thornberry has been Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury for 12 years. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I believe we need someone who has time and energy to take over this role, and continue to take the fight to our incumbent Labour MP, who has let down the people of Islington South and Finsbury.”

Mr Desmier said: “My political drive is inherited. My grandfather left India in 1955, bringing his wife and eight children to London, searching for a better life. The role of immigration, racial diversity and a world without prejudice is central to who I am and what I want from my local community.

“Two French names reflect my family’s internationalism and I feel our country’s commitment to international tolerance is being challenged. Islington South is being failed by an MP putting the interests of her party ahead of the interests of her constituents.”

Mrs Thornberry is Islington South and Finsbury’s MP of 12 years. Speaking to the Gazette yesterday, she said representing the constituency “has been the greatest honour of my life”.

Of Mr Stacy’s comments on Brexit, she added: “My constituency voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU [72 per cent]. The difficulty is the country decided we had to leave.

“The Lib Dems, on the other hand, have shot their bolt. They are simply against Brexit no matter what. We are going to leave the EU. The question is, how do we make it work for the whole country?”

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