Liberal Democrats announce general election candidate for Sleaford and North Hykeham

Liberal Democrat candidate Ross Pepper. EMN-170428-163052001

Liberal Democrat candidate Ross Pepper. EMN-170428-163052001

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The Liberal Democrats have announced that recent Sleaford and North Hykeham by election candidate Ross Pepper will be standing again in the constituency in the forthcoming general election.

It has been confirmed by the local party that Mr Pepper will contest the Sleaford and North Hykeham seat just six months after fighting the by-election called by the resignation of Stephen Phillips.

Mr Pepper, who lives in Lincoln and is a marketing administrator, secured third place in the by-election behind the Conservatives and UKIP.

Born and bred in Lincolnshire, he said, “I continue to be concerned that Lincolnshire is being let down by this Government.

“Our NHS continues to struggle locally with staffing issues such as those at Grantham, our schools are facing huge cuts in the budgets which is likely to lead to fewer teachers in our classrooms, our local businesses and farming sector face an uncertain future over Brexit, and both our young and senior generations appear likely to be abandoned by the Conservatives with the removal of housing benefit for under 25s and the scrapping of the pension triple-lock.

“It is very clear that we need an effective Opposition in Parliament to the Conservative Government, and Labour cannot provide it. I am the best-placed challenger to the Conservative’s damaging and brutal cuts and I urge voters across this constituency to support me on June 8.”

Local party chairman, Natasha Chapman, welcomed the decision, saying: “The result Ross achieved in the by-election was against all expectations of the press. He is the only candidate speaking up for issues residents really care about. Ross will provide a positive voice in Westminster and be a champion for Sleaford & North Hykeham.”

Mr Pepper first stood for election in Lincoln in 2015’s general election.

In the by-election he achieved an 11 per cent share of the votes, almost doubling the result of 2015, and increased the number of votes despite a lower turnout.

Other main parties are yet to announce their candidates for the constituency currently held by Tory MP Caroline Johnson.