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Former fighter pilot is Liberal Democrat pick to battle to win Broadland

Ben Goodwin, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Broadland. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Ben Goodwin, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Broadland. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Liberal Democrats

A former fighter pilot has been unveiled as the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate to battle for Broadland.

Ben Goodwin, a former Tornado pilot and wing commander is swapping a 17-year career with the RAF for the cut and thrust of politics - and is convinced he can win a traditionally Conservative seat.

The 39-year-old, who has served in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Africa, was based for many years at RAF Marham, but said he now wants to turn his attention to representing the people of Broadland in Parliament.

He said: "I had an amazing career in the RAF and really enjoyed it. It's a career I would recommend to anyone. But what's brought me out of the military are my concerns about the national leadership in this country.

"It's all become extremely short-term and, coming from a background where we took the long-term strategic view, I got fed up with shouting at the television and decided to do something about it."

Mr Goodwin, who lives near Coltishall and was born in Sydney, Australia to British parents, said he believes he can win a seat which has been Conservative since it was created in 2010.

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Conservative incumbent Keith Simpson has said he will not stand again and Mr Goodwin said: "Keith Simpson has served for a long time, but even he does not feel at home in the modern Conservative party.

"I stand for traditional British values - openness, honesty, fair opportunities in life, and playing by the rules.

"The Lib Dems are the only ones being honest about the consequences of Brexit. The consequences of Brexit could be damaging to society and the economy of this country."

Mr Goodwin said he was also keen to focus on climate change, affordable housing and job and training opportunities.

During his RAF career, he was deployed to Chad in Africa to develop a multi-national force against Boko Haram and has worked as a military assistant to top officers in the UK and NATO.

In the 2017 election, the Lib Dems were third, with 7.9pc of the vote.

The Conservatives, Labour and the Green Party have yet to announce their prospective parliamentary candidates for Broadland, while the Brexit Party candidate selected Alex Hayes as their candidate.

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