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General Election 2019: Liberal Democrats line up new candidate Claire Malcolmson to replace Tim Walker in Canterbury

The Liberal Democrats have lined up a new candidate for Canterbury less than 24 hours after their parliamentary hopeful stepped down.

Claire Malcolmson, a councillor in Mole Valley, Dorking, is set to replace the ex-candidate Tim Walker.

Claire Malcolmson will compete in Canterbury for the Liberal Democrats
Claire Malcolmson will compete in Canterbury for the Liberal Democrats

He unexpectedly quit the race yesterday saying he wanted to give the Labour candidate Rosie Duffield the best chance of retaining the seat she won in 2017 against the odds.

Canterbury constituency chairman Nigel Whitburn said: "Yes, she's going to be signing nomination forms, which we've got to get done and in by tomorrow. There's a split locally about what should be happening, but the majority of members say we should be putting up a candidate. Obviously at such short notice there was a limited choice."

Asked if there was any truth in claims local Lib Dems will not canvass hard for the new candidate, Mr Whitburn said: "Well, we're not one of the main target seats in Kent. The level of canvassing will be proportionate to our expectations."

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According to the council’s website, the prospective candidate ran a theatre school for 19 years in and around Mole Valley. She has been a single parent to four children for 21 years.

It says she is the council’s cabinet member for the environment, adding: “Claire has a strong leaning to preserving the environment, helping young and old and making life easier for everyone. Her ethos is to believe in herself and others and give people hope and confidence in themselves.”

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