Julie Girling, who has served as a South West Member of the European Parliament for the last 10 years, is calling on Remain voters to back the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.
Ms Girling was elected twice to the European Parliament for the Conservatives, before leaving them over Brexit. Ms Girling is widely respected across parties and recently announced that she was not going to be a Change UK candidate for the European Elections.
Julie Girling said:
"The Liberal Democrats scored a huge success in last week's local elections, gaining more than 160 seats across the South West. I have respect for Molly Scott-Cato and wish her well, but the facts are that the Lib Dems have always been a strongly pro-European party and are clearly the strongest Remain party here.
"Across the South West the Liberal Democrats have just elected more than six times the number of councillors in the local elections compared to the Greens and now have more than five times the number of seats. The Lib Dems are very clearly the lead Remain party in the South West.
"Brexit would be a disaster for the South West, but it's not too late to stop it. I have no party political axe to grind here, I'm simply responding to the large number of constituents who have asked me for advice when considering their vote. In my view, the best way to get a People's Vote to stop Brexit is to vote Lib Dem. That will send a very clear message to Mrs May and Mr Corbyn. This is what I will be doing. I urge other Remain voters to vote Lib Dem to stop Brexit."
Welcoming the support, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
“With long experience in the European Parliament, Julie knows our MEPs get things done. Like so many Remain supporters she is now backing the Liberal Democrats and we warmly welcome her support.
“Following stunning local election results across England, the Liberal Democrats are clearly the strongest Remain force in British politics.
“You only get one vote in these elections so we’re appealing to people not to waste it. If you want to stop Brexit then back the Liberal Democrats.”