THE Liberal Democrats have selected a local businessman and a former university lecturer – both pledging to stop Brexit – to fight for the two Newport parliamentary seats at the next general election.

Ryan Jones has been selected to run for Newport West, a seat currently held by Labour MP Ruth Jones; and Dr Mike Hamilton has been chosen to contest the Newport East seat, held by Labour's Jessica Morden MP.

“This general election is the most critical since 1945,” the Lib Dem candidates said in a joint statement following their selection. “The future prosperity of the UK rests on the outcome. We are both committed to stopping Brexit through a People’s Vote."

Pointing to the Lib Dems' proximity to Labour in this year's European elections, the pair said they were "standing to win" at the next parliamentary election.


A UK general election does not have to be called until 2022, but prime minister Boris Johnson has made repeated efforts to bring about a snap general election this autumn, as he seeks a mandate to leave the European Union on October 31, even if no withdrawal agreement has been reached.

“The defining debate will be about Brexit," Mr Jones said. The Lib Dems are the largest Remain party in the UK and we urge all voters who care about stopping Brexit to unite behind us.”

Dr Hamilton called for an overhaul of the "broken" current housing system, citing high property prices and developers wanting to "cram expensive houses" into Caerleon and Severnside.

"We need a joined up regional approach to planning for new homes, so that people can have a decent place to live and good access to services they need," he added.

Both candidates also said they supported better investment in public transport in the Newport and Severnside area, which would bring about improved air quality.

At the 2017 general election, the Lib Dems won 2.2 per cent of the vote (976 votes) in Newport West, falling well short of Labour's Paul Flynn, who held his seat with a majority of 5,658 votes.

Following Mr Flynn's death in February this year, Ruth Jones won the by-election for the vacant Newport West seat with 39.6 per cent of the vote. Ryan Jones, who was also the Lib Dem candidate in that by-election, won 4.6 per cent of the vote.

In Newport East in 2017, Lib Dem candidate Pete Brown won 2.6 per cent of the vote (966 votes). Jessica Morden held her seat with a majority of 8,003 votes.