Politics

Former journalist faces Lib Dem deselection ‘because he is a Christian

Juliet Stevenson talks about cancel culture

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A former BBC journalist is facing deselection as a Lib Dem candidate in a target seat “because of his Christian values”, according to friends. David Campanale, who is close to party leader Sir Ed Davey, is fighting the Lib Dem’s 21st target seat of Sutton and Cheam in South London which the party has high hopes of winning in the election.

According to sources close to Mr Campanale he has “fallen victim of cancel culture” because of his deeply-held Christian beliefs.

The Lib Dem candidate previously ran as a candidate for the Christian People’s Alliance in the 2010 and his continued faith is understood to still be a problem for local constituency party members.

According to sources, Mr Campanale’s continued candidacy is opposed by LGBT activists in the local Lib Dems who think his Christian beliefs are contrary to party principles.

A source said: “This is cancel culture in action. David is a Christian but a small, vocal minority cannot accept freedom of belief and want him out because of his Christian values.”

Mr Campanale is now facing local procedures to potentially deselect him and the national party has refused to step in.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: “This is a decision that rests with the Sutton and Cheam Constituency Party.  No decision has yet been taken.”

Party sources also disputed the issue centred around Mr Campanale’s faith “but because of questions over his conduct.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Mr Campanale for a formal response but he has not replied.

However, the issue has echoes of the demise of Tim Farron in 2017 after his evangelical views led to him being jettisoned as party leader.

Mr Campanale was selected in January to take on Conservative Minister for London Paul Scully who has a majority of 8,351.

A swing of just 8.27 percent would see the Lib Dems take the target seat.

But Conservative MPs have attacked the Lib Dems for their intolerance of Christian beliefs.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, deputy chairman of the Common Sense Group, said: “The Liberal Democrats keep proving that they are neither liberal nor democratic.

“Their attitude to not accepting the EU referendum proved they were not democratic and issues like this one wshow they are not liberal.

“Instead, they are incredibly intolerant.”

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North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen added: “This proves that to be a lib Dem you need to support nothing and oppose everything.”

Mr Campanale was a distinguished international broadcast journalist, including for the BBC.

He has also been a director of Tearfund – a major disaster relief and development agency.

The ex-journalist has strong links in Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey’s nearby Kingston constituency where he led the anti-cuts coalition.

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