We've been contacted by many people and the Christian media concerned at the deselection of the former Labour MP, Rob Flello as a Lib Dem candidate. Click here to read the reasons we are fully supporting the party over this.
Rob Flello joined the Liberal Democrats in September 2019. He expressed a wish to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Stoke on Trent South, the constituency where he had formerly been the Labour MP. The Lib Dems did everything they could to accommodate this wish. As with any other Lib Dem member who wants to stand for parliament, Rob was required to undergo our approval procedure. Given the short timescale, Rob was fast tracked through this. Rob’s Christian and pro life beliefs were well known and were not a problem, but what only recently came to light are his comments on social media. In particular, his support for the intimidation of health care staff and of those who are seeking terminations and of his opposition to the provision of providing legal abortions in Northern Ireland. Liberal Democrats seek to create and open and fair society where everyone is free from intimidation. It is unacceptable for someone who aspires to represent our party in public office to publicly support such views. It also presents difficulties for the party when someone who is standing for election to parliament, publicly opposes party policy.
In LDCF, we have only found the party to be totally supportive of those with Christian views. We are one of the 3 largest membership groups within the party and last year, were given Specified Associated Organisation (SAO) status which means that we are consulted on policy decisions made by the party including the manifesto. In the 30 year history of the party, we are the only organisation to be upgraded to SAO status. In a party where both the President and the Deputy Leader are professing Christians, Christian beliefs are certainly welcome and it is disappointing to see the media suggesting otherwise.