Lib Dems put Duff top of list

LIBERAL Democrats across the East of England have reselected Euro MP Andrew Duff to head their list for next year's elections to the parliament based in Brussels and Strasbourg.

LIBERAL Democrats across the East of England have reselected Euro MP Andrew Duff to head their list for next year's elections to the parliament based in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Mr Duff, one of the members of the Convention drafting the controversial constitution for the European Union, was the Parliament's spokesman on the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Mr Duff, who lives in Cambridge and has been a MEP since 1999, said: "If the European Convention succeeds, the EU, with tougher democratic safeguards, will be able to act more effectively at home and abroad."

The European elections in June next year will once again be fought on the list system of proportional representation, with electors voting for a party rather than individual candidates. Once all the votes across the six counties comprising the East of England are counted, they are distributed among the parties whose leading candidates are elected.


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In 1999, the East of England elected eight Euro MPs – four Conservative, two Labour, one Lib Dem and one from the UK Independence Party.

Mr Duff said: "Since 1999 the Lib Dems have grown fast in the East of England. We control more councils than ever before, and at the General Election in 2001 we elected our second MP.

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"Next year we will be going all out improve our position in the European elections. As people rapidly lose faith in New Labour, they are turning to the Liberal Democrats in ever larger numbers as the only progressive pro-European force in British politics."

The Liberal Democrats selected their Euro candidates by postal ballot of all party members on the region – the most pluralistic and democratic of all the political parties. 

Second on the Lib Dem list will be Chris White, who leads the Lib Dems on Hertfordshire County Council and in the East of England Regional Assembly. Third will be Kathy Pollard, deputy Leader of the Lib Dems on Suffolk County Council, who contested South Suffolk for the party at the 1992 and 1997 General Elections.

Mrs Pollard, who lives in Capel St Mary near Ipswich, said: "It is important that Suffolk should have a strong voice in Europe.  Many jobs in the county depend on our trade with Europe, including those in farming. I believe that MEPs need to look carefully at European directives and their effect on local people and businesses."

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