Nicola Horlick, the high- profile fund manager and City “superwoman”, has announced her intention to stand as an MP for the Liberal Democrats in London.
The author of Can You Have It All? will run in the Remain-voting Conservative safe seat of Chelsea and Fulham.
The Lib Dems, who are polling at around 20 per cent and have promised to cancel Brexit if they win power, are targeting dozens of seats at the next election, many in Remain-supporting Tory seats in the south.
Former Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, who have defected to the Lib Dems, are among the high-profile candidates selected to contest seats in the capital.
Chelsea and Fulham voted 70 per cent for Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum but in the 2017 general election the Lib Dems recorded only 11 per cent, although this was more than double their share in the 2015 ballot. Incumbent Tory MP Greg Hands won 52 per cent of the vote in 2017, down 10 percentage points on 2015.
Ms Horlick was dubbed a “superwoman” in the 1990s for her ability to balance a large family with a successful career in a largely male dominated industry.
The last three years have been totally absorbed by the Conservative party tearing itself apart and having no clear vision for the country outside of Brexit
In 1997, she gained notoriety when she flew to Frankfurt with a number of journalists in tow to demand she be given her job back by Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.
In a statement, the CEO of Money&Co said: “I have to take a stand after the extraordinary events of the last few weeks. We must fight against Brexit and restore order to government after the chaos created by the Conservatives.
“The last three years have been totally absorbed by the Conservative party tearing itself apart and having no clear vision for the country outside of Brexit. It has taken all the bandwidth of parliament, governing the country has gone on hold, and the business of running the country has been forgotten.”
Lib Dem officials are confident they can significantly increase their share of MPs in the event of an election, given Labour’s contorted Brexit position and the Conservative party’s position on no-deal.
In the European elections earlier this year, the Lib Dems surged to second place overall, with 20 per cent of the vote, soundly beating both the Conservative and Labour parties.
The party’s unequivocal pro-EU stance has galvanised members and helped to more than double its membership to 120,000 since the 2016 EU referendum. It made significant advances in May’s local elections, making more than 500 gains amid a voter backlash against the two main parties.
Responding to her announcement, Mr Hands tweeted: “Nicola Horlick 2019 Lib Dem candidate ‘has supported the Lib Dems all her life’ (her new website). Nicola Horlick 1997 ‘supports Labour,’ (The Independent) even trying to be a Labour MP. Vote Lib Dem, get Labour & Corbyn.”
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