The Liberal Democrats have today confirmed that Siobhan Benita is standing down as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for Mayor of London.
Siobhan was selected in November 2018 with the election scheduled to take place in May 2020. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the election has been delayed to May 2021.
The election delay has led to Siobhan Benita’s decision to step down as the candidate. An internal party process has now begun and details on the selection of a new candidate will be announced in due course.
Siobhan Benita said:
“It has been a privilege to campaign as the Lib Dem candidate for the past 18 months. I am immensely grateful to all the fabulous party members, volunteers and friends who supported my campaign and shared this experience with me.
“London is the best city on Earth and that is because of the amazing people who live and work here. I have been both inspired and humbled by all the individuals and organisations I’ve had the pleasure to meet across the capital. Londoners have enormous resilience, creativity and passion and I have every faith in their ability to overcome even the most challenging times that lie ahead.
“The demands of being a candidate are significant, particularly for an election of this scale, The nature of the role, which is unpaid, makes it very difficult to combine with other work. Sadly, at this stage, I’m simply not able to commit to another full year of campaigning. I wish the very best of luck to my successor and look forward to supporting their campaign for a better London.”
Ben Sims, Chair of London Liberal Democrats, said:
“Siobhan has been a fantastic candidate who has worked incredibly hard for Londoners during her time as the candidate. Her enthusiasm, kindness, thorough grasp of the detail and passion for social change meant she was an inspiration to me and many others in the party.
“The extension of the Mayoral campaign for another year is a lot to ask of anyone, both personally and professionally. So it is with sadness that we understand Siobhan’s decision to step down at this time. We put on record our sincere thanks and wish her the very best of luck in the future.”
“We have started the necessary internal process towards selecting a new candidate and will make an announcement in due course. As we look forward to shaping our post-COVID future, the Liberal Democrats will offer Londoners the progressive change they demand.”
Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey added:
“I’ve known Siobhan for several years and she is an incredibly inspiring woman. Her campaign for a greener, fairer London helped us double our vote in London in the last election. I’m very sorry to see Siobhan stand down at this time, but she will continue to be a huge asset to our party.”