Conservative party activists in Richmond Park have selected Zac Goldsmith as their candidate in June’s General Election.
Goldsmith lost the seat last December after calling a by-election over the Government’s decision to approve a new runway at Heathrow.
His loss to Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney came just 7 months after his defeat to Sadiq Khan in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor.
To retake the seat for the Tories Goldsmith will need to overturn Olney’s majority of 1,872, a task complicated for the pro-Brexit candidate by the fact that constituents voted heavily to remain in the EU in last June’s referendum.
Despite Goldsmith’s desire to return as the constituency’s MP, there’s been no sign of the government changing its stance over the new runway.
Georgina Butler, Chairman of Richmond Park and North Kingston Conservative Association, said: “We are delighted that Zac Goldsmith has been reselected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond Park and North Kingston in the forthcoming General Election, and we look forward to having him back again as our representative in Parliament.
“After a resounding victory in the 2015 General Election, his absence from Parliament since last December has been a disappointment.
“He is widely regarded the best MP that Richmond Park and North Kingston has ever had, and we need him back to represent our residents effectively.”
On the issue of Brexit, she added: “Far from being a hardened Brexiteer as his opponents have painted him, he will fight for the best deal for Britain.
“He has led on guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and is a champion of strong protection for the environment.
“He will also continue to lead the fight against Heathrow expansion, an issue which continues to concern our residents.”
Responding to news of Goldsmith’s selection, Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat chief whip, said: “By standing as a Conservative after resigning over Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith has just lost his last shred of credibility.
“People in Richmond Park voted resoundingly against a hard Brexit and against Heathrow expansion, both backed by Zac Goldsmith’s Conservative Party.
“Instead they voted for the Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney.
“Zac Goldsmith couldn’t stand on a Conservative platform last time, so what’s changed?
“As a Conservative he will be standing on a clear pro-Brexit, pro-Heathrow manifesto.
“The people of Richmond Park have already told him what they think of that.Sarah Olney beat him once, she will beat him again.
“If you want to change the direction of the country and prevent a hard Brexit, this is your chance.”