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West Berkshire Council leader to challenge Laura Farris for Newbury seat at the next General Election

The Liberal Democrats have announced their candidate to challenge Newbury MP Laura Farris for her seat at the next general election.

Lee Dillon, the newly elected council leader for West Berkshire Council, will take the fight on.

Lee Dillon
Lee Dillon

Mr Dillon (Thatcham North East) took control of the council from the Conservatives at the local elections in May.

The Lib Dems are the strongest challengers to the seat, which has in part been split in two and redesignated by the boundaries commission into Newbury and Mid Berkshire.

In the 2019 election, the Conservatives came home with a 16,047 majority and 57.4 per cent of the vote, giving Mrs Farris her first seat in the House.

Mr Dillon came second, with 18,384 votes, representing 30.6 per cent of the overall turnout.

No declarations for the Mid Berkshire seat from either party have yet been announced.

Mr Dillon, who has lived in Thatcham all of his life, said he was inspired to get into politics by the late Lib Dem MP for Newbury, David Rendel, who "represented our area with a passion that Lee would seek to match if elected as Newbury's next MP".

Away from politics, Mr Dillon is a keen sports fan, and regularly takes his young children to watch Reading play football. He said one of his favourite sporting moments was watching his hometown team, Thatcham Town, win at Wembley stadium in the 2018 FA Vase Final.

“I'm honoured to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Newbury constituency at the next general election, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to take the Liberal Democrat promise of a fairer deal for our country to the voters of the area I've spent my life living in and campaigning for," he said.

"It's clear that the Conservatives have taken areas like ours for granted. We face a crisis in our NHS, with it proving all but impossible to get a GP appointment, we've got water companies dumping sewage in our rivers and streams at will, and we're seeing crimes go without investigation and without punishment.

"The Conservatives have no plan to deal with any of this. Instead they're busy playing out a political soap opera in Westminster that is completely out of touch with the very real problems that people are facing in their daily lives."

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