My name’s Liz Webster and I am absolutely thrilled to be standing as your Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament to bring the possibility of positive, dynamic change to the Cotswolds.
Liberal Democrats plans for Britain are in stark contrast to the unpredictable, backward-looking policies offered by Conservatives and Labour. They both want to deliver Brexit and their visions for the country are not fit for the 21st century. Today they are parties of the far-right and far-left which is why they have lost so many of their more moderate and sensible MPs. Six members of the last Parliament walked away from the Tory Party since the start of 2019 while another twenty-one were kicked out for trying to protect the country by voting against a no-deal Brexit. While ten of these have gone back to their traditional tribe four have joined the Liberal Democrats in the fight to keep Britain in Europe. Meanwhile nine MPs were driven to quit the Labour Party with its bewildering Brexit policy since the start of 2019 and three of those have also joined us.
I am a passionate defender of our NHS and am determined to help stop it being sold off. Healthcare, free at the point of delivery is every Briton’s right and we must make sure it stays that way.
Every child deserves the opportunity of an outstanding education. Cotswold schools are already suffering from under-funding and need more investment not less.
The Conservatives used the excuse of the financial crisis for austerity and stealth council tax rises. Now they’re using Brexit as cover for imposing an ideology of low taxes, low wages and a greatly reduced welfare state. We have a proud record in this country of looking after those least able to look after themselves and of all sharing in the benefits of national success. We must not let them take away these hard-fought achievements.
The best MPs never forget who bestowed upon them the great honour of representing them in Parliament. That’s why the first thing I will do if you do pick me is to open a constituency office and make sure everyone knows they can come to see me at regular surgeries – something which has been sorely lacking for some years.
The Cotswolds voted to Remain in the 2016 referendum but the previous MP ignored the views of his constituents. He has proved himself willing to ignore the damage Brexit will create for our agriculture and the food sectors. Both are vital to our local economy and the only way to protect them is to end the Brexit madness.
I am more encouraged every day touring the constituency talking to people. There’s a real mood for change and I’ve never known such enthusiasm for the party as I’m finding right now. I know many of you reading this will share my views. I have met countless local people who are really furious about Brexit and the way in which the local MP has gone completely against their wishes. Elect me and I will follow the majority view of my constituents and fight to remain in the EU because it’s good for jobs, good for society and good for all our children’s futures.
But the election isn’t only about Brexit. It’s also about saving Britain from two parties with dangerous, extreme views at either end of the political spectrum. The Liberal Democrats have an ambitious plan for the future where every single person and community can thrive. Unlike our opponents we’re not fighting for some narrow segment of society but for everyone.
Recent unprecedented results in the local council and European elections have proved that it’s a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories. The only way to save the country from Brexit and from the worst extremes of our outdated political parties is to vote Liberal Democrat on 12th December.
Liz lives with her husband on a farm at the southern edge of the Cotswolds. She has run her own recruitment business in the area for more than twenty-six years and feels she is very much in tune with the constituency and the thirst for change within it.
She was thrown into the media spotlight in 2007 when her son was attacked and suffered life-threatening head injuries at school. "Experiencing the reality of what racial tension can lead to meant I wanted to do everything possible to stop it happening again," she says. Liz campaigned to get answers and improve community cohesion. Although thirteen young men were convicted of taking part in the attack, Liz had to seek Judicial Review to order the school and local authority to complete a Serious Case Review.
"I realised then that I could make a difference, that things which are wrong can be changed if you’re prepared to fight and fight again." Tensions around the Brexit campaign and the murder of Jo Cox motivated Liz to stand for Parliament and in the 2017 General Election she took on the neighbouring constituency of North Swindon. "I learnt a lot during that campaign and now I feel truly ready to serve and to do a decent job for people who need an MP who really understands them and their issues. Someone who will respond positively when they look them in the eye to tell them what’s wrong. Someone who will answer their messages and emails, rather than ignoring them if he doesn’t like what they say."
Liz is a well-known figure in the Remain campaign, particularly in the fight to revoke Article 50. She’s been invited to speak at a number of Remain marches and events. She took the government to court with a crowd-funded campaign named the “Article 50 Challenge” in a bid to find the missing legal decision to leave the EU. She’s also a founding member of Farmers for a Peoples’ Vote and visitors to her farm would be hard-pressed not to realise that. "The producers of an anti-Brexit film needed a field that could be ploughed to spell out the words, 'Britain now wants to Remain.' We volunteered our land and now I can say I am the proud owner of the largest Remain message in the world."