Lib Dems select Bognor Regis and Littlehampton election candidate

Lib Dem Francis Oppler and party leader Jo Swinson
Lib Dem Francis Oppler and party leader Jo Swinson

A long-serving councillor has been selected by the Lib Dems to stand for the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton constituency in case a snap general election is called.

Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has seen two separate bids for an election defeated by MPs, with Parliament now prorogued until October 14.

However once MPs return he could try another attempt.

Francis Oppler, who contested the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton seat at the 2015 and 2017 general elections, has been chosen by the Lib Dems to stand again.

He was first elected as a councillor in 1989, has served as mayor of Bognor Regis twice, spent six years as opposition leader at Arun District Council and was first elected to West Sussex County Council in 2005. He has been deputy leader at Arun since May’s elections.

Conservative Nick Gibb has been MP for the area since 1997.

Mr Oppler said: “It is an honour to stand again for the Liberal Democrats with the hope to represent Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in Parliament.”

Lib Dem priorities include demanding better for the environment and it wants to reduce energy bills by improving home insulation and encouraging small-scale community and local authority renewable schemes. They would also ban fracking.

The party also wants to use a small increase in income tax to spend on the NHS and social care services.

The Lib Dems are also promising to reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection ‘so that teachers can get on with the job of teaching rather than having to concentrate on budgeting for the basics’.

Cllr Oppler said he would campaign against a no-deal Brexit and is particularly concerned about animal welfare.

He is a member of the League Against Cruel Sports and is totally opposed to the hunting ban being lifted.