Like his predecessor, Cantrill is a strong opponent of BrexitLouis Ashworth

Rod Cantrill, a member of Cambridge’s city council, has been announced as the new parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the city.

Cantrill, an unsuccessful candidate in last year’s inaugural regional mayoral election, will contest the constituency in the next general election, set to be held in 2022.

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His selection was welcomed by his predecessor, Julian Huppert, who served as MP for Cambridge between 2010 and 2015. After a failed attempt to retake the constituency from Labour’s Daniel Zeichner in 2017, Huppert announced he would be standing down as the Lib Dem candidate following his second-place finish in the election earlier this year. Huppert tweeted congratulations for Cantrill, saying that he was an “excellent candidate”.

During the 2017 mayoral election, Cantrill ran on a manifesto that committed him to fighting against Britain’s exit from the EU, in the interests of “building an open and progressive Britain”.

His manifesto also focussed on housing, education, and health and social care services. Despite narrowing the Conservative majority in the second count, Cantrill was defeated by James Palmer.

Cantrill is likely to face an even greater challenge in 2022, this time against a firmly established Labour majority. After several closely-run contests between Labour and the Lib Dems, this year Daniel Zeichner managed to considerably increase the Labour majority, to 12,661 votes.


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Currently one of the representatives of Newnham ward on Cambridge City Council, Cantrill studied Architecture at Cambridge University before starting a financial consulting company.

Will Smart, chair of Cambridge University Liberal Association, told Varsity he was “absolutely thrilled” by the announcement: “An experienced campaigner, and former St. Catharine’s JCR President, I have no doubt that [Cantrill] can be the liberal, pro-European voice that students deserve and Labour seem incapable of providing.”

In a tweet, Cantrill said he was “honoured” to have been selected as a parliamentary candidate. He is expected to release an extended statement tomorrow.

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