Bromsgrove Lib Dems launch general election campaign with backing of former Conservative Health Secretary - The Bromsgrove Standard

Bromsgrove Lib Dems launch general election campaign with backing of former Conservative Health Secretary

Bromsgrove Editorial 3rd Jul, 2023   0

THE BROMSGROVE Liberal Democrats launched their general election campaign on Saturday and unveiled their candidate for the vote.

Dr David Nicholll is currently a Bromsgrove District Councillor and a frontline neurologist at a Birmingham hospital.

Dr Nicholl has also received the backing from former Conservative Secretary of State for Health Stephen Dorrell.

At the event at The Ladybird Inn in Aston Fields, Dr Nicholl said: “We need an active MP who understands the issues Bromsgrove residents face.

“As a campaigner I have been working to reopen Artrix, tackle congestion, and regenerate our town centre and stand up for our villages.

“The Blue Wall is crumbling as lifelong Conservative voters are backing the Lib Dems because the Government has let them down and taken them for granted. Bromsgrove is no longer a safe Conservative seat as the recent local elections have shown and the Liberal Democrats are offering a vision of change.”

Former Conservative MP and Health Secretary under John Major, Mr Dorrell, who has joined the Lib Dems added: “I think David has a tremendous record in the health service and I am delighted to be supporting him to be the candidate for Bromsgrove.

“On the 75th anniversary of the NHS, we need an MP who understands our health service.

“David is a dedicated campaigner who will stand up for our NHS, recover our economy, and tackle the Climate Emergency.

“He can campaign on the Health Service but also other public services and make life better for the people of Bromsgrove.

“He is a fearless campaigner and has always asked difficult questions to those in authority.

“He is willing to be difficult when needed and that is important when campaigning – he is just the person we need in the House of Commons.

“As a former Conservative MP, I joined the Liberal Democrats as they offer the best vision for our country and I know David will help deliver that vision and build a better Bromsgrove.”

‘Planning to burst the Tory bubble’

At the launch and popping a blue balloon to the cheer of more than 30 party members, Dr David Nicholl said: “We’re here for a better Bromsgrove and to burst the Tory bubble.”

The general election looks set to take place next year. Current Bromsgrove Conservative MP Sajid Javid has announced he is not standing and the local party is currently embarking on the process to find a new candidate.

Dr Nicholl’s speech to members in full

Thank you for coming, your presence today will make a real difference.

Five years ago, there were no Liberal Democrat councillors in Bromsgrove- today there are five. We are now a big chip in the Blue Wall, Bromsgrove District Council is now under no overall control, I feel proud to be with Rob, Sam, Josh and Siobhan holding the Conservatives to account. The recent local elections we had just over 20 per cent of vote share – across the West Midlands, we were the sixth largest Lib Dem party by vote share….and we did that without any outside help.

Today is not the past it is about our future, but we BUILD on our past. For me, I grew up in Belfast and saw directly the dangers of extremism. My best friend at school, his father, a taxi driver was murdered by terrorists. My uncle was one of the highest ranking part-time members in the Ulster Defence Regiment living in ‘border country’.

I left Belfast to come to Birmingham University to study medicine. I loved the diversity of the place- there weren’t any Baltis in Belfast in the 1980s! Belfast seemed a grim and hopeless place then.

Although I have lived in Hagley in Bromsgrove for over 20 years, seeing the day the Good Friday Agreement pass in 1998 was a triumph of hope over fear. A high-water mark in politics and diplomacy.

I have spent my entire Consultant career working for the NHS in Birmingham, having previously worked elsewhere, including in South Africa the year Nelson Mandela was elected President. Another triumph of hope over fear – worth remembering today, the 10th anniversary of the great man’s death.

We are at this point again, this time in Bromsgrove. People are fed up with the lying and chaos of the current government. I have never seen Conservative voters so angry as meeting them on the door-step ‘never again’ as they voted Lib Dem for the first time ever

Why now? A general election is over a year away. It is vital we are out now, fighting for every vote. Bromsgrove is a safe Conservative seat, or is it? With Sajid Javid, a former Health Secretary, standing down, there has never been a better chance for a Liberal democrat.

Why not Labour? Labour have forgotten how to oppose. This election will be about the economy and the cost of living. It will not be about ‘wokeism’ or even ‘the boats’, it will be about the economy. No-one did more than the LibDems to highlight the dangers of Brexit from everything from the GFA to the economy. The lies it was based on. Yet Labour is still stuck on a ‘Labour will fix Brexit’. I don’t even know what that means, do you?

But we have left the EU, but there is nothing to stop us, for example, following countries like Norway which as part of the European Economic Area and not the EU. As Lib Dems we saw in North Shropshire how we can win, not by banging on about Brexit, but by showing that we cared and fight against the harms caused by Brexit. Labour have forgotten how to fight.

Last month, I was in Belfast for a medical conference – Belfast is booming, even Rishi Sunak says so that Northern Ireland will have the ‘world’s most exciting economic zone’ due to its access to the EU single-market. Yet even Belfast has its problems.

Lib Dems highlighted how we needed a windfall tax on energy companies months before Labour.

Locally, I highlighted the madness of the Three Counties Medical School in Worcester not having any funded places for UK medical students months before Labour. Despite locally we spend £70million-a-year on agency staff. Yet yesterday, before it was published, we had Wes Streeting congratulating the Conservatives for copying Labour’s plan on NHS workforce.

The plan does not mention Worcestershire, and Sunak thinks you do not need a dentist, just a therapist for your teeth. Great plan, with literally no teeth!

As Lib Dems, we have fought for our High Street, our arts centre, Artrix, our health and social care service, our dentists, our green belt, and against rip-off utilities and against the sewage in our rivers.

As Lib Dems we will keep fighting, but we can only do it with your help.

I am under no illusion how big a challenge to take on Bromsgrove is. I have no idea when the next general election will be, certainly over a year way.

Clearly if Sajid wants to leave and call a bye-election, that’s fine by me. As Lib Dems we just love a by-election.

As a Lib Dems, we do not have the money of either the unions or Russian-linked donors to support us.  It is people like you that can help us win.

I took on Sajid Javid in the 2019, and got one of the best Lib Dem results in Worcestershire- against the national trend. So I have no hesitation at taking on whatever unknown Conservative they parachute in next year.

Bring it on.

As Barack Obama once said: “We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort. “

For me hope is a place called Bromsgrove, I want you to join me today as we launch the campaign for Bromsgrove to have its first Liberal Democrat MP.






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