Pro-Remain party Change UK reveal east of England candidates

Anna Soubry addressing supporters during the launch of the Change UK European election campaign in B

Anna Soubry addressing supporters during the launch of the Change UK European election campaign in Bristol. Photo: Rod Minchin/PA Wire/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A raft of new candidates standing in the east of England ahead of European elections have been announced by pro-Remain party Change UK.

The list includes former Tory MP Neil Carmichael, former Labour MP Roger Casale and music supervisor Michelle de Vries - partner of Blur drummer and Norfolk county councillor Dave Rowntree.

Unveiling the candidates on Tuesday, interim leader of Change UK, Heidi Allen, said: 'We are here to say we stand ready. These elections are a chance to send the clearest possible message.

'We demand a People's Vote and the right to campaign to remain in the European Union.'

Others standing for the party in the east of England are Emma Taylor, Bhavna Joshi, Amanda Gummer and Thomas Gummer.

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Labour candidates are Alex Mayer, Chris Vince, Sharon Taylor, Alvin Shum, Anna Smith, Adam Scott and Javeria Hussain. The Conservative candidates are Geoffrey Van Orden CBE, John Flack, Joe Rich, Thomas McLaren, Joel Charles, Wassim Mughal and Thomas Smith.

Current MEP David Campbell Bannerman previously said he will not stand in the European elections as it would be 'dishonourable' of him to do so.

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For UKIP, the east of England candidates are Stuart Agnew, Paul Oakley, Liz Jones, William Ashpole, Alan Graves Jnr, John Wallace and John Whitby.

The Liberal Democrats have Barbara Gibson, Lucy Nethsingha, Fionna Tod, Stephen Robinson, Sandy Walkington, Marie Goldman and Julia Ewart.

Final lists will not be released until April 26, and more candidates are expected to be revealed, including for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

European elections are scheduled for May 23, even though the date will be nearly two months after the UK was supposed to leave the EU.

There are 70 British seats available in the elections but Theresa May will hope to bring the country out of the EU before they are filled.

Reports suggest that Theresa May is hoping to bring her withdrawal bill to the House of Commons in the next week, even though talks with Labour continue.

A spokesman for Theresa May added: 'Every day that parliament doesn't ratify the EU withdrawal agreement, the harder it is to avoid the European elections.'

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