Lib Dems select 18-year-old as East Worthing and Shoreham general election candidate

Ashley Ridley Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham
Ashley Ridley Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham

An 18-year-old has been selected by the Liberal Democrats to contest next month’s general election in East Worthing and Shoreham.

Conservative Tim Loughton has represented the area since 1997 and will be defending a majority of 5,106 votes when polling opens on Thursday December 12.

Ashley Ridley (right) Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham with borough and county councillor Bob Smytherman

Ashley Ridley (right) Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham with borough and county councillor Bob Smytherman

Back in 2017 Labour finished second, with the Lib Dems, UKIP and Greens trailing far behind.

This week the Lib Dems unveiled their prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat.

Ashley Ridley, 18, currently coaches Southwick Rangers FC’s under 11s girls’ team and the under 8s boys’ team as well as the women’s side in Burgess Hill.

He has also been a youth worker at a Whitehawk after school club.

Ashley Ridley Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham

Ashley Ridley Lib Dem candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham

He said: “A lot of people will not of heard of me because I am very young but that’s exactly what politics needs. We need a fresh baby faced bunch of MPs from across all parties as the political system in this country is broken.”

Mr Ridley believes more needs to be done to improve equality for women, wants more spending on youth services and the reversal of previous cuts and says he will fight to stop Brexit and campaign for the NHS.

He added: “It’s the pillar stone of the British identity and that’s why I am proud to be your Liberal Democrat candidate bringing the politics back to the people and listening to your views.”