Chichester Lib Dems select general election candidate

Kate O'Kelly, a district and county councillor, has been selected as the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Chichester
Kate O'Kelly, a district and county councillor, has been selected as the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Chichester

Chichester’s Lib Dems have selected their candidate to contest the next general election.

Kate O’Kelly was first elected to West Sussex County Council for Midhurst and 2017 and then won a by-election at Chichester District Council 2018 after Tory MP Gillian Keegan vacated her Rogate seat.

At a hustings on Tuesday night party members selected Dr O’Kelly, a former GP, as the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Chichester.

The Lib Dems will be looking to follow-up on their strong performance at the district council election in May where they took 11 of 36 seats.

Dr O’Kelly was re-elected in Harting after ward boundary changes.

A general election could be held as early as mid October after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was defeated by MPs attempting to stop a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday night.

Dr O’Kelly, who has lived in South Harting for more than 25 years, has successfully campaigned to reduce cuts to bus subsidies in West Sussex and is fighting to prevent the closure of three schools in the area.

She has also been campaigning to stop Brexit as she believes the impact, especially of a no deal, would be ‘disastrous’ for the area.

She argued the next general election would be a ‘close battle between myself the current MP’ and felt Ms Keegan had ‘sat on the fence on every issue from Brexit to the A27’, adding: “The people of this area need a Liberal Democrat MP with the courage of their convictions. They want someone who will go into battle for them.

“The recent local and European elections showed people no longer trust the Conservatives.

“They have put their faith in the Liberal Democrats to make a difference. It’s time for electors to have a real alternative to the current chaos, complacency and confusion.”