University Chancellor Gavin Esler has announced that he will be running as a Minister for European Parliament in the upcoming European Elections as a member of the Change UK Party.
The prominent remain pundit, news journalist, publisher, and author will be running alongside other famous figures in journalism including Rachel Johnson, the sister of Backbench conservative MP Boris Johnson, to stand with the newly formed party previously known as “The Independent Group”.
There were around 70 people from across the country who were chosen as MEP candidates for the group, with more than 3500 people originally offering to stand as a MEP in the upcoming elections, as claimed by Change UK leader Heidi Allen.
Mr Esler, who is currently the figurehead of the University of Kent as its Chancellor and runs the “In Conversation” series on campus, will be running as a MEP for the London region.
The announcement came hours before another Change UK candidate was forced to step down after an “inappropriate” tweet regarding Romanians in London from 2017 surfaced.
In the official announcement conference, Mr Esler argued that Brexit was based on “cheating and lies” and claimed that the current UK political system was “a worldwide joke”.
Speaking to InQuire directly, Mr Esler clarified that “my decision to run is entirely separate from my role as Chancellor”, and “I know how concerned many students, our excellent student union reps, and our staff are about the implications of Brexit. Knowledge has no borders.”
“Our staff and students from EU countries are superb and the diverse cultural experience is part of what makes our university life so wonderful.”
Esler also remarked how “no one born in the 21st century voted for Brexit”, and that it is the Chancellor’s desire to let new voters “have their say”.
Current estimates by political survey organisations, such as Survation, Opinium Westminster, and YouGov predict Change UK to hold around 3-4% of the total vote share in the upcoming elections, superseded by both the Liberal Democrat Party, and the newly formed Brexit Party, but it is too early to tell where this percentage will translate into corresponding proportions of election MEPs for the Party.
The 2019 European Elections will take place on the 23rd of May, where registered citizens of every European member state will decide on their elected representatives for European Parliament, and UK turnout to these elections has been steadily increasing over the past several years, with more increases in turnout expected in May.