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General Election 2019: Liberal Democrats will contest Canterbury against Labour's Rosie Duffield after Tim Walker told party members he'd 'lost dressing room'

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The Liberal Democrat candidate for Canterbury who sensationally stood down last night told party members he'd "lost the dressing room".

Journalist Tim Walker announced last night he was standing aside to give the Labour candidate Rosie Duffield the best chance of retaining the seat.

Tim Walker said he'd 'lost the dressing room'
Tim Walker said he'd 'lost the dressing room'

KentOnline has seen a leaked email sent by Tim Walker to party members explaining his decision. He says that he faced a “hideous situation” and had “lost the dressing room” - leaving him with no choice.

The email says: “I've come to the view that, irrespective of our official position, persevering with my candidacy in these very difficult and exceptional circumstances would damage our party nationally as well as locally.”

Labour MP Rosie Duffield
Labour MP Rosie Duffield

He goes on to explain that it was a unilateral decision: “I believe this is now the only way to draw the poison out of this rather hideous situation.”

The email continues: “I could not in all conscience continue to defend our position when I didn't really believe in it myself, and, certainly, in terms of the membership locally, I had - in footballing parlance - clearly lost the dressing room.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have said they will stand a candidate in the constituency.

National party chiefs have until Thursday to find a replacement but could face a backlash from party members, who fear contesting the seat will hand an advantage to the Conservative party.

Local party sources said that any new candidate imposed on them would be unlikely to receive much support when it came to campaigning.

It is understood that four people have been approached but all declined the opportunity to stand.

Rosie Duffield and Tim Walker previously spoke to KMTV's Paul on Politics

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