Local councillor Josh Babarinde OBE has been selected to succeed Stephen Lloyd as the Liberal Democrat candidate to take on Caroline Ansell to become Eastbourne and Willingdon’s next MP.
Eastbourne is a marginal seat between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and is one of the constituencies the Lib Dems are heavily targeting at the next General Election.
Born and bred in Eastbourne, new Lib Dem candidate Josh Babarinde is an entrepreneur who founded an award-winning technology business in London that supported ex-offenders and ex-gang members away from crime.
A former Cavendish School head boy, Josh was awarded an OBE by The Queen in 2020 for services to criminal justice, social enterprise and the economy. One of the youngest OBE recipients in history, Josh dedicated his honour to his hometown of Eastbourne.
During the coronavirus lockdowns, Josh and his firm launched a scheme to provide free video phones to Eastbourne’s shielding care home residents so they could stay connected with their families.
He also led the local Lib Dems’ award-winning #EBtogether campaign to telephone over 5,000 residents across the town during the lockdowns and connect those in need with local support.
Josh volunteers on the frontline as a vaccinator as the Sovereign Harbour NHS Vaccination Centre, giving local residents their COVID-19 vaccines.
Josh said: “It’s an honour to succeed my friend and colleague Stephen Lloyd as the Liberal Democrat candidate to be our town’s MP. I want to pay tribute to him and his distinguished contribution to our town.
“Looking to the next election, we need a vocal and visible MP who will pull out all the stops for our town. I have a track record of rolling up my sleeves for Eastbourne and Willingdon, and I’m committed to being the energetic local champion our community deserves.
“I will challenge the inequalities that exist in our town, draw on my business experience to help drive the local economic recovery, hold this government to account on its pledge of a new hospital for Eastbourne, and I will stand up for local people.”
Former MP Stephen Lloyd said: “I am delighted that Josh has been selected as the new Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate.
“Having known Josh for over a decade, I believe he is a man of real integrity and energy who will put our town and its people first. Which is as it should be!
“Josh Babarinde OBE is exactly the person our wonderful town needs as the MP.”