Chris Bowers has been named as Wealden Liberal Democrats' parliamentary candidate and will stand in the general election that looks increasingly likely to occur either later this year or early next. And with Chris' candidacy comes the very real possibility of Wealden gaining a LibDem MP (and its first ever non-Tory MP).
Chris has lived mid-way between Uckfield and Lewes for more than 20 years and therefore knows Wealden as an established resident. Having been a two-term District Councillor and Wealden's Parliamentary Spokesperson, Chris has extensive political experience at both a local and national level, and says he is keen to represent Wealden as an MP who lives locally, genuinely knows and loves the area, and understands the concerns of the constituents in a way that an MP who spends the majority of their time in London simply cannot.
"I'm here to offer Wealden a genuine choice," says Chris, "one that we haven't had for a long time. I have worked hard to build bridges and forge collegiate relationships over the years with the Greens, Labour, liberal Conservatives and Independents, and truly believe the Lib Dems offer a platform around which opponents of divisive isolationism can unite."
Wealden Liberal Democrats' Chair Paul Sparks said: "We're delighted to have Chris as our candidate. He brings local knowledge and great experience to the role. This is always seen as a safe Conservative seat, but with a number of 'Conservative Remainers' disillusioned about the state of Boris Johnson's Tory party, and Labour anxious about where its leadership is going on Brexit, Chris is perfectly placed to be the progressive challenger to the incumbent Brexit-supporting Conservative MP."
A writer and broadcaster by profession, Bowers is well known to tennis fans as a match commentator, and earlier this year he became part of a major historic sporting event when he provided live commentary on national television during the first-ever 12-12 tiebreak at Wimbledon. He is also the biographer of tennis greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and in 2011 he wrote the biography of former LibDem leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg.
Bowers' areas of specialist knowledge include the Environment and Education, and he readily acknowledges that his role as a father has only served to strengthen his passion for and commitment to these areas - his daughter is currently studying for her A' Levels at a local sixth-form college. Chris has a strong track record in environmental issues and earlier this year led the transport chapter in the Liberal Democrats' new beefed-up strategy to tackle climate change, which sees the party committed to making the UK net-neutral in greenhouse gases by 2045.