Lib Dems spark row over candidate chosen to represent Reading West and Mid-Berkshire after trans rights campaigner is picked to fight Commons seat over man who ‘actually won’

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  • A Lib Dem spokesman said Mr Abbs was ‘disqualified for breaching the selection process rules’

Liberal Democrats are embroiled in a dirty tricks row after a trans rights campaigner was picked to fight a Commons seat over the man who ‘actually won’ the selection contest.

Sir Ed Davey’s party faces calls to explain how Helen Belcher is now a would-be MP despite coming second to local councillor Adrian Abbs in a members’ ballot. 

Mr Abbs was told he had beaten Ms Belcher for the new Reading West and Mid-Berkshire seat by one vote – only to learn he had been disqualified over claims he broke party rules and that Ms Belcher, made an OBE for services to the transgender community in the New Year’s Honours List, was the official candidate.

Mr Abbs told the MoS last night: ‘To exclude me from a contest I actually won is ridiculous.’

A Lib Dem spokesman said Mr Abbs was ‘disqualified for breaching the selection process rules’.

Ms Belcher declined to comment.

Sir Ed Davey’s (pictured) party faces calls to explain how Helen Belcher is now a would-be MP despite coming second to local councillor Adrian Abbs in a members’ ballot

Liberal Democrats are embroiled in a dirty tricks row after a trans rights campaigner was picked to fight a Commons seat over the man who 'actually won' the selection contest. Pictured: Sir Ed Davey

Liberal Democrats are embroiled in a dirty tricks row after a trans rights campaigner was picked to fight a Commons seat over the man who ‘actually won’ the selection contest. Pictured: Sir Ed Davey

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