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Liberal Democrats and Green Party announce Torfaen general election candidates

THE LIBERAL Democrats and the Green Party have announced their Torfaen candidates for the general election. 

The seat is held by Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds, who was first elected in 2015, and is currently shadow minister without portfolio in opposition leader Keir Starmer’s top team. 

The Liberal Democrat challenger is Brendan Roberts, from Cwmbran, while the Green Party candidate is Phil Davies also from Cwmbran. 

Mr Roberts said his career has predominantly been in the public and third sector alongside volunteering and he has been the Welsh Young Liberals policy officer since 2020 and has volunteered for Voices from Care Cymru and is part of its national advisory group and was elected to its board of trustees.   

He also campaigned to get Labour controlled Torfaen Borough Council to adopt a proportional voting system for council elections but said his proposal was “snubbed” by Labour councillors who opted to stick with the first past the post system. 

Brendan Roberts is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Torfaen at the 2024 general election (Pic: Supplied)

Green candidate Mr Davies is the deputy leader of Wales Green Party and the political education officer for the Young Greens and said he also takes an active role in several community groups within Torfaen.  

Lib Dem Mr Roberts said there is speculation the election could result in a hung parliament, with the Liberal Democrats possibly holding the balance of power. 

He said: “There might be a hung parliament so Labour will need help from the Liberal Democrats, or even more bizarrely the Liberal Democrats could be the largest opposition party. 

“Whatever the result, my focus is on Torfaen and what is happening in Wales.” 

For the Green Party Mr Davies said: “Torfaen is an area that is often taken for granted or ignored by the Labour and Conservative Parties.

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I promise to stand up for the people of Torfaen and offer a positive Green alternative to the business as usual politics that doesn’t work for areas like ours.” 

Phil Davies is the Green Party candidate for Torfaen at the 2024 general election (Pic: Supplied)

At the 2019 general election the Liberal Democrats finished in fourth place with just 1,831 votes, a 4.9 per cent share, while the Green Party finished in sixth, and last place, with 812 votes,  2.2 per cent. 

The July 4 election will be fought on slightly redrawn lines as 7,900 electors from four wards in Croesyceiliog and Llanyrafon have transfered from the Conservative held, former Monmouth Parliamentary constituency. 

Labour has held Torfaen since the seat was created in 1983 but its 3,742 majority in 2019 is its smallest ever and Mr Thomas-Symonds’ total was  lower than the combined votes of the second placed Conservatives and third place Brexit Party which polled 5,742 votes. 

The Brexit Party is now known as Reform and has said it will stand in all 32 Welsh seats at the general election. 

The Conservatives have previously announced Nathan Edmunds as its candidate and Plaid Cymru’s candidate is Matthew Jones. Both are from Cwmbran. 

Parties have until Friday, June 7 to nominate candidates.