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Byline: OLIVER MILNE Reporter

AFORMER Conservative candidate for the National Assembly, who stood as a UKIP councillor before joining the LibDems, is now standing for Welsh Labour in Flintshire.

Richard Lowe is a Welsh Labour candidate for the Stonebridge ward of Saltney Town Council on Deeside.

But this May's local government elections aren't the first time Mr Lowe will be wearing a rosette.

In January 2011 Mr Lowe, then a Conservative councillor on Chester council, stood down as the Tories' Assembly candidate for Alyn & Deeside after it emerged that he had made a joke about Madeleine Mc-Cann.

He resigned for "personal reasons" after he was forced to apologise for comments he posted in response to a fellow Conservative dressing up as the missing toddler at a New Year's Eve party. In April of the same year Mr Lowe announced that he was defecting from the Conservatives to join Ukip.

Mr Lowe stood as a Ukip candidate in the local elections that same year and lost his seat.

He was then selected as the party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Chester for the 2015 general election.

However, Mr Lowe was forced to stand down in January 2013 over his support for equal marriage.

Speaking to the Chester Leader at the time, Mr Lowe said: "Some of the issues they had a problem with could be tolerated but when my support for gay marriage was published they felt I had to go. Ultimately I have got to stand up for my political beliefs.

"I have been asked about rejoining the Conservative Party or joining the Green Party but there is no intention of me joining any other party right now," he said.

In March of the same year Mr Lowe joined the pro-European Liberal Democrats.

Speaking about his move, he told the Chester Chronicle: "Whilst I have spent time in two political parties prior to this move, I have decided to join the Liberal Democrats - returning to the party I first voted for.

"This I see as correcting the move I made when I defected to Ukip in 2011 - I looked long and hard at the Liberal Democrats, but eventually I made the wrong choice to join Ukip."

It is not clear exactly when Mr Lowe left the Lib Dems and joined the Labour Party.

But Mr Lowe was a member of the party before the attempt to oust the party's leader Jeremy Corbyn by MPs last summer.

A critic of the embattled Labour leader, Mr Lowe has declared his allegiance to his latest party's more centrist elements.

The once eurosceptic Lowe has become a fierce critic of those steering Britain out of the UK, tweeting: "Kinda LOL at the fact the great imperialists of the UK (AKA the Leave Campaign) will be responsible for losing Gibraltar."

He also tweeted a picture of a T-shirt that said "don't blame me I voted Remain."

Wales On Sunday contacted Mr Lowe to ask if he would like to discuss his political journey, but he declined.

The Labour Party was invited to comment but did not reply before Wales on Sunday went to print.


Candidate Richard Lowe

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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 16, 2017
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