Zac Goldsmith claims he is the best post-Brexit option for Richmond Park and North Kingston in his campaign as an independent candidate for the upcoming by-election.
The former Conservative MP resigned from his seat over the government’s decision to back a third runway at Heathrow on October 25th.
The two key issues for constituents in this by-election will be Heathrow’s expansion and the EU and Mr Goldsmith is seen as being soft on Brexit despite voting Leave himself.
He said: ‘The question is, what kind of person do you want to ensure the right kind of Brexit.
“I was one of just two Tory MPs to vote with Labour to vote against the Conservatives on the issue of EU migrants.
“I have been the person who has been leading the campaign to get environmental rule translated into UK law.”
The Conservative party has not fielded a candidate, instead referring to Mr Goldsmith as a hard-working champion for the people of Richmond Park.
Mr Goldsmith said: “I work very closely with the local Conservatives.
“When I announced I was resigning and said I was standing as an Independent all of them, all the key figures, all the councilors and association members wrote collectively and individually to the party and said they would back me as an Independent even if there was a Tory candidate.”
Mr Goldsmith had always threatened to fight the threat of Heathrow expansion and said the decision made on the 25th would be a millstone round the government’s neck for years.
However, his campaign for Richmond will not be a walk in the park for the former London mayoral candidate.
Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney is receiving extensive backing from her party and is focusing her attention on the 72% of constituents who voted in favor of Remain in the EU Referedum.
The relatively new politician has said she would go further than her rival and would try to halt Brexit altogether – a very different position from former deputy prime minister and fellow Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg who said at a meeting in Richmond Park last week that Brexit was definitely going to happen.
But despite not campaigning for Brexit Mr Goldsmith is often associated with more prominent Brexiteers whose broken promises have enraged many people.
A Labour candidate, Christian Wolmar, is running in the by-election despite some Labour MPs calling for the party not to field a candidate saying it would split the vote and lead to a Goldsmith win.
Transport expert Mr Wolmar said: “It’s very clear that we are a completely different party from the Lib Dems.
“We are finding on the doorstep that there are a lot of people with Labour values who are very pleased to see a Labour candidate.
“Sarah Olney is now saying ‘I’m glad you’re standing because we wouldn’t want to be associated with Jeremy Corbyn and Labour party policies’.”
All candidates running in this by-election object to the third runway at Heathrow but it will be their previous records and positions on Brexit that will influence the result here on December 1st.
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