Ex-Lancaster MP reveals wish to stand again

Eric Ollerenshaw.
Eric Ollerenshaw.

The former Conservative MP for Lancaster looks likely to be named tomorrow as his party’s candidate in the general election.

Eric Ollerenshaw is the sole candidate going up for re-selection by Tory party members.

Robin Long will stand for the Lib Dems in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Robin Long will stand for the Lib Dems in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Mr Ollerenshaw, 67, was MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood from 2010 to 2015, when he lost his seat to current MP Cat Smith.

He said he’d expected not to stand again because of proposed election boundary changes, due to come in next year.

“When I lost at the last election, I said immediately afterwards that it looked unlikely that Lancaster and Fleetwood would exist at the time of the next one,” he said.

“So I didn’t think I would have a chance to have a go again.

“I’m extremely surprised but also very honoured that the Conservative Association wants me to be a candidate again.”

Mr Ollerenshaw said he felt he had “unfinished business” in Lancaster, including projects such as the Lancaster University Science Park or ‘innovation campus’ which is in the pipeline.

The Conservative party will meet tomorrow to confirm if Mr Ollerenshaw will stand on June 8.

He lost by 1,265 votes to Labour MP Ms Smith in 2015, having won the seat in 2010 after beating Clive Grunshaw, now the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, by 333 votes.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have confirmed that Robin Long will stand again for them in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Mr Long, who finished fifth in the 2015 election, was confirmed as candidate at a meeting at Skerton Liberal Club on Wednesday.

Matt Severn was also confirmed as the Lib Dem candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale.

Mr Severn said: “The Liberal Democrats want to give people the chance to have a say on the final Brexit deal and we believe Britain should remain a member of the Single Market after Brexit.

“Morecambe and Lunesdale’s economy, based on things like Heysham Power Station, Heysham Port, farming and tourism, depends heavily on access and trade with our European partners.

“This election is a chance to change our future and stop a hard Brexit that will leave us all poorer.”

Matt, 30, is a district councillor for Kendal but grew up in the constituency in Bolton-le-Sands and went to Ripley St Thomas in Lancaster.

Announcements are yet to be made on who will be the UKIP and Green party candidates in both Lancaster and Morecambe, and who will be the Labour candidate in Morecambe and Lunesdale.

Labour councillors Darren Clifford, John Reynolds and Vikki Singleton are known to have applied to stand against sitting Conservative MP David Morris.