The Liberal Democrats have announced that Chris Lucas will be their candidate for Hitchin at the next general election.

Cllr Lucas is a lecturer in business and law at North Herts College, and is currently a North Herts councillor for Hitchin Priory ward.

He was elected in 2022, winning the seat from the Conservatives, and is now serving as vice-chair of the council.

After winning a vote of local Liberal Democrat members, Cllr Lucas's general election candidacy was announced during an event at Hitchin's Market Place on Saturday, October 7.

The event was attended by a number of Hertfordshire Lib Dems, including Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans, Victoria Collins, parliamentary candidate for Harpenden and Berkhamsted, and Cllr Keith Hoskins, who represents Hitchin South on Hertfordshire County Council.

The Comet: Cllr Chris Lucas with Daisy Cooper MP and Cllr Keith Hoskins.Cllr Chris Lucas with Daisy Cooper MP and Cllr Keith Hoskins. (Image: Hitchin Liberal Democrats)

The existing Hitchin and Harpenden constituency is set to be split in two at the next general election, with one constituency for Hitchin and another for Harpenden and Berkhamsted.

Cllr Lucas will face Bim Afolami, the incumbent Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, who has announced that he will be standing for the Hitchin constituency.

At his unveiling, Cllr Lucas said: "The first thing I would like to do is pay tribute to Sam Collins, the former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for the old Hitchin & Harpenden constituency.


"Sam is an excellent campaigner and councillor for Hitchin Highbury ward and I look forward to working closely with him in the future."

Cllr Lucas was strongly critical of Mr Afolami, and said: "Despite his futile attempts at 'greenwashing', Bim has consistently voted against measures to prevent climate change, he's voted against laws to promote equality and human rights, and he's voted in favour of the Rwanda policy.

"When the vote to allow water companies to release raw sewage into chalk stream rivers came before parliament, what did our MP do? He abstained! Shame on you, Bim."

He spoke about what the Lib Dems stand for: "We exist to act as custodians of the planet; we're passionate about protecting our natural environment.

"We exist to give a voice to the voiceless and seek to empower every individual to achieve their potential.

"We work all year round to represent the everyday man and woman in society; we don't pander to the rich or act as sock puppets to powerful trade unions."

Of the support he received from local party members, he said: "I'm amazed and humbled by all your goodwill and support.

"I want you all to know this: I will fight tooth and nail to win Hitchin for the Lib Dems next year and with your help we can make the next general election an historic occasion.

"Let's put Hitchin on the map, let's turn Hitchin Liberal Democrat at the next general election."

At the 2019 general election, Bim Afolami won in Hitchin & Harpenden with 27,719 votes against 20,824 for Sam Collins, the Liberal Democrat candidate. Labour's candidate, Kay Tart, came third with 9,959 votes.

The next general election must be held no later than January 2025. Labour are yet to pick their candidate for Hitchin.