John Leech leads EU rally in Manchester: "I will not stand by and watch Manchester suffer for something they didn't vote for"


  • John Leech led a rally of more than 500 people in Manchester today.
  • The group formed to show the cross party support for Europe following last week's Leave result.
  • Leech: "I will not stand by and watch Manchester suffer unfairly with the pain of a narrow-minded and narcissistic Leave campaign that they did not vote for."

Yesterday former Manchester Withington MP and remain campaigner, Cllr. John Leech, led a peaceful rally in Manchester Piccadilly Gardens to show the mass of support for Europe. Representatives from the Liberal Democrats and Green party joined the rally, but neither Labour or the Conservatives were present.

Manchester Withington MP of ten years and recently elected councillor, John Leech said to the crowd: "Like many of you here I awoke on Friday to a country I did not recognise. 

“Despite voting to remain, the people of Manchester are now stuck with the appalling consequences of a Leave campaign that was founded upon narrow-minded narcissism, scaremongering and outright lies.

"Manchester should be very proud that they ignored the lies and deceit that the Leave campaign peddled, and voted firmly to remain with our European neighbours."


Since a Leave result was produced on the 23rd of June, residents across Manchester have voiced their upset. It was recently revealed that Leech's former seat of Manchester Withington voted to remain with more than three quarters backing the EU, making it the 10th highest result in England.

Speaking at the rally Leech said: "The Leave campaign was littered with attempts to divide communities across the UK, and unfortunately enough people were convinced by those devisions. However, I will not stand by and watch Manchester suffer unfairly for something they didn't vote for."

On the 23rd of June, Manchester voted to Remain in the European Union with a 60% to 40% result to stay, contrary to the rest of the North West region which backed Leave.

Talking of the journey ahead, Leech said: "It is our job to bring those communities together, listen to their concerns and act on them. As ever I will continue to work hard in order to lead a united community, working together with both sides to ensure the impact on Manchester is as limited as possible."

An online petition calling for a second EU referendum has been signed by more than 4 million people, with over 14,000 of those in south Manchester, and more than 35,000 across Manchester.

John Leech, who is Manchester Council's sole opposition member, added: "Manchester has made it clear they want to remain in Europe with tens of thousands backing petitions, turning up to rallies and joining movements to express how they feel. We must now go out and make the positive case to remain in Europe."

John Leech was elected to represent Didsbury West ward in the May 2016 local elections, storming to victory with 53% of the vote. UKIP, however, received just 1% picking up a measly 69 votes, making it officially the least popular ward for the anti-EU party anywhere in the country. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has announced that the party will fight the next general election on a promise to take Britain back into the EU, after more than 13,000 joined the pro-remain party after the result.

John Leech concluded"Within minutes of the Leave result the Pound plummeted to an almost historic low, we are living in uncertain economic and political times. I am proud as a Liberal Democrat that we will fight the next general election, when ever that might be, on pledge to either remain in the EU, or make all attempts possible to re-join."

Ends

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Contact: Pablo O'Hana
pablo.ohana@libdems.org.uk  |  07745839916


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