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Dear Fellow Liberal Democrat,

I have wanted to stand as a Lib Dem European Parliament candidate since the age of 18 and can think of nowhere I would rather represent than the region that has always been my home – helping my party, my family, my friends and my neighbours. We must acknowledge the hard struggle we have had in the East Midlands, but with great turbulence comes great opportunity.

As a lifelong liberal and a passionate European, counting Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown amongst my political heroes, I fervently believe that the European Union has enormous potential, but I also recognise its flaws. Europe can and must be better: we must transform attitudes, shake up the political system and make Europe work for us!

In the 18 years I’ve been a Liberal Democrat, running more local election campaigns than I can count and three enjoyable stints as PPC, I’ve learnt first-hand how a European campaign can build a party’s infrastructure, not least in my time employed by both the Party and Bill Newton Dunn. Our chance of victory lies in supporting local parties right across our region, recognising that votes in rural Lincolnshire matter just as much as those in urban Leicester, and reaching out to win more votes than ever before.

As PEPC and MEP I intend to hit the ground running – supporting local campaigns, forensically chasing the devil in the detail, and identifying key campaigns that allow us to win votes and seats at local level.

Having seen European liberal politics up close in my time as International Officer for LDYS, I’ve had direct personal experience in making deals and shepherding amendments through plenary sessions and getting Lib Dem values put into action. Furthermore, as those in the region who know me have doubtless experienced, I am a very detail-orientated person – something I’ve found to be as useful in deconstructing the arguments of Brexiteer MPs as it would be navigating the technical world of European legislation.

If I have the honour to represent this Party I will work my upmost to stop Brexit and to put our values into action!

Chris Nelson