Dr Huppert was defeated by 599 votes in last year's electionPolicy Exchange

Former Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has announced that he is to seek reselection as a Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC).

In a statement posted on Twitter, Huppert said “I am delighted to announce I have today applied for reselection as Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge in the next General Election”.

Dr Huppert, a Fellow of Clare College, was the defeated incumbent in last year’s election, losing by just 599 votes to Daniel Zeichner in the country's 18th closest contest. Huppert was one of 49 Liberal Democrat MPs to lose their seat in 2015.

Speaking to Varsity, Huppert said “It was a huge honour to have had the chance to represent Cambridge, this great city where I grew up, and have spent most of my life. I’m also proud of what I managed to achieve - helping thousands of people in Cambridge with individual concerns, getting more support for our schools and our NHS, with a particular focus on mental health, which had been neglected for far too many decades, and more support for sustainable transport and affordable housing.

“It was gutting to lose at the last election, and so narrowly. I’ve had lots of people pressing me to stand - Lib Dems of course, but also members from Labour, the Greens, Tories, and the majority who have no fixed party allegiance. I wanted to take some time to think about it properly; I worked flat out as the MP, and it is a huge commitment. However, the EU referendum, and the toxicity that it has caused, finally persuaded me that I couldn’t just sit it out.”

Already, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to fight the next election on the issue of stopping Britain leaving the European Union. In a statement made in the wake of the referendum result, Huppert said that he was “devastated” by the outcome, and pledged that “our next manifesto will have a commitment to bring the UK back into the EU - and in the meantime, we will do our best to limit the damage to our country and our children’s future.”

Despite the victory of the Leave campaign, Huppert claimed to be “proud of the role my party and I played in the campaign. We were clear and united, and will continue to be so. Compare that to the Tories, with their petty in-fighting, and Labour, whose leader it now seems wanted to sabotage the Remain campaign.”

It is possible that Huppert’s announcement comes in anticipation of an early election, with some predicting a vote as early as this autumn, once the new Conservative leader and Prime Minister is in place.

Speaking to Varsity, Huppert replied “I don’t think it is good for the country to have such utter chaos in the Government and in the Opposition, even though it is an opportunity for the Lib Dems. We’ve had more than a member a minute join us since the referendum - which is fantastic news. I hope more people will join, especially students, if they are equally committed to a progressive, liberal, international Britain.”