Hammersmith's new MEP explains personal reasons for aiming to stop Brexit
Irina von Wiese topped London wide poll for Lib Dems
Hammersmith's Irina Von Wiese has thanked volunteers who helped her to top the London wide poll for the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliamentary Elections on 23 May.
Irina, who is also standing for the London Assembly Election in 2020, has released a post-election video in which she says: "It was all so worth it. So this is to my amazing local team in Hammersmith and Fulham. Together, we will stop Brexit."
On H&F Lib Dems' website local resident Irina explains her own very personal reasons for wishing to remain in the European Union, saying: " My name elicits questions.
" The first name is Russian, the last name is German. My grandmother’s entire family apart from her mother and herself, was killed by the Red Army. She escaped from Tbilissi, in what is now Georgia, and was then still Russia, by the skin of her teeth, to arrive in Weimar Germany in 1923. Her refuge lasted for ten happy years, then she and her own young family were faced with another type of totalitarian oppression.
"They survived, but the horror of war and hunger left deep physical and mental scars in my mother. My father, whose own family had fled from Eastern Europe, climbed a wall to reach the freedom of West Germany. This is the history of 20th century Europe, reflected in the stories of survivors and the gaping holes left by millions of victims.
"So for me, growing up in post-war, cold-war, divided Germany, the European Union has been one thing above all: a guarantor of peace. Free trade, economic and security co-operation were not the end, but the means to strengthen and perpetuate this peace. For millennia, people have known that nothing prevents war as effectively as the interdependence that comes with trade.
"The freedom to move across national borders is not just about sunny beaches and ski slopes – it is about getting to know people and understand what makes them different, and what makes them the same. It is the antidote to intolerance, radicalisation and extremism. It is also what makes us cherish our own culture and heritage, without the assumption of superiority.
"In 1996, I took for granted the chance to move to the UK, work for a British firm, qualify as a Solicitor and settle in London. There, I met a Greek immigrant whose father had survived a German POW camp. Our parents’ and grandparents’ stories stay with us, but our own lives have moved on – juggling careers, social life and family in different countries, we take our freedom for granted.
" Our daughter considers herself English and shares a classroom with children from all over the world. This April, she’s off to Hamburg for a school exchange, and next summer she and her friends plan to go Interrailing across Europe.
" Today, I am a British citizen and a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith, where I have lived for many years. I am also standing for the London Assembly election in 2020, as part of a team as diverse as London itself. I am immensely grateful to this country for the opportunity it has given me, and well aware that not everyone is as fortunate.
" For the last two years I have shared my home with refugees from across the globe, people like my grandmother who have lost everything and are hoping for a fresh start. I want them to know that they are welcome in London, a city which shares Liberal Democrat values: open, tolerant and inclusive."
The Liberal Democrats are celebrating in Hammersmith & Fulham after winning the local vote by a huge margin. The declaration of voting in the borough in the European Parliamentary elections showed them performing well ahead of their expectations.
The Lib Dems topped the poll locally by a huge margin, with 34.3% of the votes - well ahead of Labour in second place with 19.6%. Hammersmith based Irina also topped the London wide poll for the Lib Dems. She is also currently the Lib Dems' proposed candidate for the next general election in the UK for the Hammersmith constituency.
The Conservatives could only manage 5th place with just 9% of the vote. The Brexit Party got 14.1%
|Hammersmith & Fulham European Parliamentary Vote|
|Party||Number of votes||%|
|The Brexit Party||7,123||14.1%|
|Conservative and Unionist Party||4,558||9.0%|
|Change UK - The Independent Group||3,297||6.5%|
|UK Independence Party (UKIP)||784||1.5%|
|Total number of votes||50,606||-|
Across London, the Liberal Democrats won three of the eight seats available for the London constituency after achieving the highest vote of any party in the elections for the European parliament.
Their share of the vote surged by 20 points to 27.1% ahead of next placed Labour on 24% This meant that the Lib Dems gained three seats having had none before while Labour lost two.
The result was a disaster for the Conservatives who gained 7.9% of the vote thereby losing their two seats. The Brexit Party achieved 17.9% of the vote winning two seats although one of them was at the expense of UKIP. The Greens retained their seat in London increasing their vote by 3.5 percentage points.
The votes being counted at Hammersmith Town Hall
Turnout in London was 41.3%, slightly up on 40.1% in the previous election.
|Eight members elected for the London region|
|1||Irina von Wiese||Liberal Democrats|
|2||Claude Ajit Moraes||Labour Party|
|3||Benyamin Naeem Habib||The Brexit Party|
|4||Dinesh Dhamija Cinnabar||Liberal Democrats|
|5||Scott John Ainslie||Green Party|
|6||Seb Dance||Labour Party|
|7||Luisa Manon Porritt||Liberal Democrats|
|8||Lance Philip Forman||The Brexit Party|
You can read more about the election results here.
May 31, 2019