Change UK candidate stands down over fears of splitting the Remain vote
PUBLISHED: 11:36 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:47 15 May 2019
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Change UK's lead candidate in Scotland for the EU elections has ended his campaign in order not to split the Remain vote, and has urged support for the Liberal Democrats.
David Macdonald, an independent councillor from East Renfrewshire, said that after a lot of reflection, he has "come to the point where I have realised I must do what is best for the future of this country before anything else".
He stated: "If things continue as they are the Remain vote will split in Scotland and put at risk the representation that supporters of remaining in the European Union so collectively desire."
For that reason, he said, he has decided to end his candidacy "effective immediately".
"I am now calling for those in favour of remaining in the European Union, including all supporters of Change UK in Scotland, to do what is best for our collective voice in Europe and to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming European election, to better ensure that they gain representation to secure a seat in these European elections."
The decision comes amid calls for greater unity between Remain-leaning parties in upcoming elections.
READ: Heidi Allen quizzed about Remain unity
A recent bid to field a joint candidate between Change UK, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens in the Peterborough by-election fell apart.
The candidate, campaigner Femi Oluwole, cited his inexperience as his rationale for dropping out at the eleventh hour, while on BBC's Question Time Change UK MP Anna Soubry claimed it was due to pressure from the Labour Party.
Independent candidate Steve Bray, also known as "Mr Stop Brexit" for his photobombing stunts in front of news cameras, stepped down in April over fears of splitting the Remain vote.