John Kiely resigns as Lib Dem PPC for Filton and Bradley Stoke

Local Liberal Democrats have suffered a setback in their campaign to win the parliamentary seat of Filton and Bradley Stoke (FABS) at the next general election with the news that their prospective candidate has resigned.

John Kiely was selected in April 2008 as the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) for the newly created FABS constituency. He wasted little time in getting involved in local issues, including the dispute between Northavon Bowls Club and Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC).

Mr Kiely attended the Special Meeting of BSTC held on 8th May 2008 to discuss the bowls club dispute and later described the Conservative-led Town Council as “the most unhelpful in England”.

He also filed an official complaint with the Town Council’s external auditor about the way the bowls dispute had been handled.

Prior to being selected to fight the parliamentary constituency, Mr Kiely served on Bristol City Council for many years, but he lost his seat in 2007.

In a surprising move, Mr Kiely stood for the Easton seat on Bristol City Council in June 2009 and was duly elected. Many questioned the rationale of rejoining the Council instead of focusing all his efforts on winning the Westminster seat.

Bradley Stoke Lib Dem Councillor Jon Williams told The Journal:

“This is obviously a blow for the local party and local executive will be making plans to appoint a new PPC as soon as possible.”

According to the House of Parliament Library, FABS is the third closest three way marginal in England  – based on 2005 figures, amended for boundary changes, the seat is split 35.5% Con, 33.9% Lab and 28.4% Lib Dem [source: Terry Cook].

Other prospective candidates announced to date are Ian Boulton (Labour) and Jack Lopresti (Conservative).

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  1. To have one candidate drop out is unfortunate; to have two is verging on the incompetent. Will the Liberal Democrats still be persisting in their slogan ‘Liberal Democrats Winning here’. Someone should let them know, especial in this 300th anniversary year of Samuel Johnson, that to win, first you must enter. The local liberals failed to stand in strength at the last local elections, are they now doing the same with regards to the next Parliamentary Candidate. Is Councillor Jon Williams really that hard to work with ?

  2. Filton and Bradley Stoke Liberal Democrats issued the following statement on Monday 7th September 2009:

    John Kiely has informed the Filton and Bradley Stoke Constituency Executive of his decision to stand down and not contest the winnable Filton & Bradley Stoke Constituency at the forthcoming election. Mr Kiely, 52, is Bristol’s longest serving Liberal Democrat City Councillor and lives in Brislington with his partner Hengrove City Councillor Jos Clark and their 8-year old son Hugo.

    Mr Kiely felt that it was becoming increasingly difficult to balance his ward and Council duties with leading the Constituency into the next general election. In addition, he works shifts at Frenchay Hospital as an administrator so it was not always easy to attend events or meetings which will only increase in number in the months ahead.

    John adds, “It was a real privilege to have been given the opportunity to stand as a Parliamentary candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke as I know the area extremely well and also work in it. But following my re-election to Bristol City Council in June I told the residents of Easton ward that they would be my first priority and I feel I cannot do that pledge justice and be fair to the local party in Filton and Bradley Stoke at the same time. I know that some members feel that they need a PPC who can concentrate solely on the forthcoming general election campaign and so it is with great reluctance that I have decided to stand down to give them the time to find that person.”

    A Constituency Spokesman says “John Kiely resigned at the end of last week and the Filton and Bradley Stoke Liberal Democrats would like to thank him for all the hard work which he has put into the role whist he has been our prospective parliamentary candidate. We wish John every success in the future especially in his role as the elected Liberal Democrat councillor for the Easton Ward of Bristol City Council.”

  3. John Kiely is an accomplished politican who recently beat the labour candidate to win as Bristol City Councillor in Easton. While the Lib Dems will no doubt miss John in Filton & Bradley Stoke, Bristol certainly needs him to get the city’s politics actually producing results. Incidentally, just compare the records of Kiely and Lopresti as councillors !

    As far as FABS is concerned if the Lib Dems can get a good candidate (there doesn’t seem to be a shortage) then it’s game on for the general election !

  4. All been very quiet in Bradley Stoke from the Lib Dems recently. We keep getting publicity from the Tories and Jack Lopresti. I’m disappointed that we won’t have Steve Webb as our MP any more and it seems like the Lib Dems have given up on the seat.

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