LIBERAL Democrat candidate for North Herefordshire Phillip Howells believes the UK is stronger placed to tackle global problems if it stays in the European Union.

Mr Howells, a former Conservative Party county chairman, believes the public is being distracted from the damage caused by austerity.

He thinks those who stand to benefit from Brexit are the most wealthy while ordinary people will suffer.

“My view is that a majority of Conservatives agree that leaving the EU is a nonsense but there is an extreme wing that is pushing for it,” he said.

“We have maturely agreed to surrender part of our sovereignty for the common good which has proved to be the case.

“In 42 years we have relatively prospered in Europe. Ordinary people have benefitted most because Europe has stopped the abuse of power by a few.

“We have to stay in Europe and tackle the big issues like climate change.

“It’s absolutely democratic to have another referendum on EU membership and a democracy which can’t change its mind is not a democracy.”

He says he quit the Conservatives after former chancellor George Osborne gave a £30m tax break to wealthy people at the same time he cut £30m from the disability living allowance.

“It was cynical, deliberate and I realised what the Conservative Party was really all about,” he said.

“They have become more so, it’s all about fostering and looking after big business and corporate positions.

“That’s why they want to leave the EU because all these wealthy people have money off shore protecting their money.

“The EU was starting to put in place agreements to stop people from getting way from paying tax.

“We are modern slaves in many ways. We have modern football prima donnas earning tens of millions and we are being entertained by that.

“We are being distracted from the fact that we are having austerity which is depriving us of services while a relatively small number of people are seeing their wealth increase on an obscene level.”