- Manchester Withington revealed as most pro-European constituency north of Cambridge.
- More than 12,000 people in constituency back a second referendum.
- Former Manchester Withington MP, Cllr. Leech says the city's voice has been ignored for too long.
- Cllr. Leech calls for passionate Europeans to join him: "If you are passionately pro-European and seeking a place to go, or party to join, then here in Manchester, and across the country, that place is the Liberal Democrats."
An online petition calling for a second EU referendum has been signed by nearly 4 million people. In just the few days since the referendum produced a leave result, the petition has gathered more than 12,000 signatures from Leech's former seat of Manchester Withington alone, making it the most pro EU constituency North of Cambridge.
On the 23rd of June, Manchester voted to remain in the European Union with a 60% to 40% result to stay.
Manchester Withington MP of ten years and recently elected councillor, John Leech said: "On Friday I awoke to a country I did not recognise, and I am absolutely devastated at the result.
“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.
"I absolutely respect the will of the people, a democratic referendum was held, the UK voted to leave and this is what will now happen. However there are a great number of people who have been robbed of their vote. They cast their ballot based upon, what they are now discovering are, complete untruths.
"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."
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.
Leech said: "The most recent election results in Manchester produced a clear correlation with both the referendum result and surge in petition signings."
Leech concluded: "I publicly stand with the 48% that voted for an open, tolerant and outward looking Britain, and if you are passionately pro-European and seeking a place to go, or party to join, then here in Manchester, and across the country, that place is the Liberal Democrats."
Before the referendum, John Leech accused the campaigns of ignoring Manchester, launching an attack with party leader Tim Farron. Speaking at Manchester's People's History Museum, Leech said: "Manchester's voice has been ignored for far too long. This decision is far too big for the Leave campaigns to pretend we don't exist. There is much more to the United Kingdom than just London, and we're here to put forward that Manchester, and the North, is better in."
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will fight the next general election on a promise to take Britain back into the EU, after more than 5,000 joined the pro-remain party after Friday’s result.
Contact: Pablo O'Hana
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