General Election 2019: Chorley candidate changes his name by deed poll to include the word 'Brexit'
A general election candidate has changed his surname to include the word 'Brexit'.
Mark Smith has changed his name via deed poll to Mark Brexit-Smith.
Brexit-Smith, who is standing as an Independent, will appear on ballot papers in the Chorley constituency, where he is challenging incumbent Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons.
He was previously the Brexit Party's candidate for Chorley, but the party decided not to oppose Sir Lindsay following his election as the new Commons Speaker in line with parliamentary convention.
Explaining the reason behind the name change, Mr Brexit-Smith said "I have decided to stand as an independent Brexit candidate in Chorley after the Brexit Party decided not to contest the seat following Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s appointment as the Speaker of the House of Commons.
"Inquiries with the Electoral Commission and the council’s Returning Officer, both of whom were helpful, about what I could put on the ballot paper bizarrely revealed that I could only put Mark Smith, Independent.
"With a very limited budget and small , though enthusiastic and dedicated team, we simply would not be able to let all people know what basis I was standing - so to make it crystal clear I will appear on the ballot paper as Mark Brexit-Smith, Independent.
"This should make it plain to the voters in Chorley that to influence Brexit they have only two choices - Remain with the Green Party or Leave with Mark Brexit-Smith.
"Let’s face facts - a vote for the Speaker will not influence the direction of the country on Brexit. In the 2016 Referendum 17.4 million of us voted to Leave and it is only right that the people in the Chorley constituency should have the opportunity to show their support for leaving."
The only other candidate standing in the Chorley constituency is James Melling of the Green Party.
The Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems have not fielded candidates in Chorley.
This in line with convention that states the incumbent Commons Speaker should be allowed to retain their position in Parliament due to their non-political role.
Sir Lindsay had to leave the Labour Party as part of taking on the role of Speaker.