Rejoin EU’s candidate in the Batley and Spen by-election has promised to make people’s voices heard, whilst criticising Labour for letting the Tories off the hook.
Andrew Smith’s candidacy for the constituency in West Yorkshire comes after Labour MP Tracy Brabin’s stepped down, triggering the 1 July election.
Smith said: “Brexit has not delivered the benefits promised to the people of Batley and Spen.
“Labour, under the leadership of Keir Starmer, are letting this corrupt Tory government hand out billions of pounds of taxpayer money to their Brexit-supporting cronies.”
He added: “Keir Starmer is failing to provide a vision of the future which resonates with the voters. He thinks that not being a Tory and ignoring Brexit will be sufficient to get him elected.
“But Brexit has driven a wedge through the country and that wedge may even lead to the UK being split up. It is not good enough for Starmer to ignore the views of the majority of people in his party, who know that Brexit was a mistake.
“I hope that my candidature helps to show that across the country, in both remain voting and leave voting areas, there are people frustrated that their voices and concern for the future of the country are being ignored. Brexit is broken and it is breaking Britain.”
Smith is Rejoin EU’s latest candidate, following their success in the London mayor and assembly elections, and their decision to run in Chesham and Amersham.
He became active in politics as he became disillusioned with the main political parties trying to sweep the damage of Brexit under the carpet.
“As the son of a Yorkshire man and with family living in Leeds, I know that the stereotypical view of remainers and brexiters is wrong,” he said.
He added: “In Batley and Spen, 40 percent of people voted to remain, yet no-one is prepared to talk about them, let alone represent their views.’
Smith spent some of his childhood living in Bradford, has a degree in environmental sciences and is a qualified accountant.
He was the finance director of a leading insurance company before becoming the chief executive of one of the largest pension schemes in the country.
He is now a pension scheme trustee, which he combines with his political activity for Rejoin EU.
Richard Hewison, leader of Rejoin EU, said: “We are delighted to be able to stand a candidate in Batley and Spen, which was promised so much by Brexit but which can now see has been delivered nothing.
“The election should be seen as a judgement on Keir Starmer’s leadership and the stance he has taken on Brexit. Rejoin EU is the only party which wholeheartedly advocates for rejoining the EU.
“The outcome of this by-election cannot change the Conservative majority in Westminster. It is however an opportunity for those people who recognise that the country has been subjected to the biggest con in recent political history, to support the Rejoin EU Party and a candidate who will campaign unambiguously for a brighter, wealthier, safer, more sustainable and more influential future in Europe.“