Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Gill stands down as Lib Dems’ Leicester South candidate

Just five days after getting the nod to be the Liberal Democrats' candidate for the Leicester South by-election Parmjit Singh Gill has withdrawn from the race. He cited family reasons for the decision:

"Given much reflection and after talking with my family, it is with regret that I have decided to stand down as a candidate for the by-election. I remain committed to the people of Leicester and am proud to represent the Liberal Democrats, but I have a very young family and I fear the toll that fighting the by-election with all the commitment and dedication it deserves would be too much."

We are not the only ones who find this statement a bit odd. Considering Gill has already fought, and won, a by-election campaign and, presumably, knew about his young family this time last week one wonders why he sought the candidacy in the first place! Naturally, rumours as to the real reason for Gill's resignation aren't too hard to come across. The savvy timing of the announcement during the pre-budget PMQs adds to the impression there is far more going on than has been said.

Regardless, the Liberal Democrats have moved swiftly to replace Gill as they have confirmed Zaffur Huq as their new candidate. Huq stood at the General Election in the Harborough constituency without causing much of a stir. Requiring a 4.2% swing to win the Conservative held seat the Lib Dem's vote share dropped by 3.6%. If Huq manages to limit his party's vote loss to that amount in this by-election it would be a minor miracle.

In other Leicester South news it seems UKIP have selected Abhijit Pandya as their candidate. Pandya is their current Head of Research and stood in Harrow East at the General Election, receiving 1.9% of the vote.

By-Election Candidate


Jonathan Ashworth (LAB)


Zaffur Huq (LD)


- (CON)


- (BNP)


- (GRN)


Abhijit Pandya (UKIP)


Update: Guido has helpfully pooled all the rumours about Gill's resignation into one handy BlogPost!


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