Writing for the LabourList website, they argued that their party should “put the national interest first” and stay out of the “vanity project” of Goldsmith’s attempt at re-election as an independent MP.
The Tory party has already taken the highly unusual decision not to put up a candidate, amid fears in No.10 that the Lib Dems will try to turn the race into a referendum on ‘hard Brexit’.
Labour came a distant third in Richmond Park in the 2015 general election and Lewis, Nandy and Reynolds suggest the party could stand down in order to give the Lib Dems, last year’s runners up, a free run against Goldsmith.
“With the Tories not standing against him, the fight will come down to a two way contest between him and the Liberal Democrats, whose vote will be split with the Greens and Labour,” they write.
“If there is any chance of kicking Goldsmith out of Parliament, the vote against him must not be split. That’s why we think Labour should consider not standing a candidate in this by-election.
“Not only did Goldsmith bring a new low to mainstream politics with his campaign against Sadiq Khan, but he is a hard Brexiteer willing to throw hard won environmental and workplace protections down the drain despite all his talk of being green.
“His claim that this is a referendum on Heathrow is absurd as his chief opponent [Lib Dem Sarah Olney] also opposes a third runway.”
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/10/26/richmond-park-by-election-zac-goldsmith-labour-candidate-progressive-alliance-lisa-nandy-clive-lewis_n_12653870.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics