Former Lib Dem MP John Leech is urging Mancunians disillusioned with the vote to leave the EU to join a liberty bird resurgence and join his party.
Mr Leech, who now represents Didsbury West as a councillor on Manchester City Council, is raising a Liberal Democrat big tent in the hopes of uniting all pro-European Mancunians to mobilise for a general election challenge to Brexit.
Despite an immense surge of 10,000 members on the day of the results the Cllr Leach insists more will be done as the public sees ‘facts and not sound bites.’
He said: “The lies of the leave campaign from Farage, Boris and Gove are now beginning to unravel, there is a dawning realisation that the nation has been sold out by those that claim to love it.
“I stand with those that feel their vote was taken from them as they voted upon, and what we are now seeing, are Leave’s lies.”
Highlighting significant backtracking by the Leave campaign on several pledges Councillor Leech railed at the post referendum climate.
He said: “We need to show that all the warnings about the economy that were made by the Remain campaign are now coming true, that project fear is actually project reality.
“It is becoming abundantly clear that on the £350 million for the NHS, immigration, the Single Market and protection of pensions, Leave cannot deliver promises people thought they had voted for.”
Frustrations were evident throughout the campaign itself, political advertisements frequently remained in use despite often being called into question by independent bodies.
Councillor Leech explained the need to address the narration that was used by Leave, which often undermined public understanding of the foundations of many essential public services.
He said: “From the very start we always opposed the narrow-minded vision that Leave offered. This was a vision that, from the offset, was an inward looking and untruthful campaign.
“On immigration we need to get across the fact that immigration has been good for the UK, many vital services, like the NHS, would grind to a halt without foreign workers.“
Manchester, alongside Stockport and Trafford, was one of the few pockets of successful Remain campaigns in the North West, later seeing over 30,000 sign petitions backing a second referendum.
Presenting a significantly important centre of a post referendum recruitment drive Councillor Leech has driven home that the Liberal Democrats are open to all Mancunian.
He said: “Whether you’ve never been a member of any party or whether you’re disillusioned with your own party, I’m here to tell you that I stand with you.
“I would like to see pro-Europeans from all parties, backgrounds and walks of life come forward.”
The potential for a second referendum to be successfully carried out currently remains dubious, despite one petition, set up by William Oliver Healey, reaching over 4 million signatures showing evident support.
Alongside this fallout from the referendum has shaken the UK political system, potential opposition under Jeremy Corbyn remains hamstrung, while Conservatives are divided by emerging heirs to David Cameron.
While some MPs have suggested that parliament overturn the result of the referendum Councillor Leech has clarified the Liberal Democrat’s objectives.
He said: “We need to make it clear we are not trying to overturn democracy, or ignore those that voted leave, but rather offer a clear vision going into the next general election.
“The people of Britain were misled and it is now the job of the Liberal Democrats to unite this country and lead the way forward for a thriving country at the heart of Europe.
“If you are passionately pro-European and seeking a place to go, or party to join, then here in Manchester, and across the country, that place is the Liberal Democrats.”