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Return of the Zac: Goldsmith welcomed back into Conservative party after quitting last year

Despite a dramatic resignation months ago, this Tory MP candidate hopes to win his seat back

Zac Goldsmith, who quit his party just months ago , is making a bid to claim back his former seat, Richmond Park.

The Conservatives have welcomed the former MP back and selected him as the party candidate to run in the next General Election on June 8.

Following a failed bid to become Mayor of London, Mr Goldsmith quit the his party in protest at the government's approval of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, in October last year.


His decision triggered a costly by-election in December, and a shock defeat to the Liberal Democrat, Sarah Olney, after he ran as an independent candidate.

The Liberal Democrat MP will be running again, but it has not yet been announced who other parties are fielding as candidates.

But now he is back in the Tory fold and will continue to oppose the expansion of Heathrow Airport , despite the Government's backing for a third runway .

During his time as MP: Zac Goldsmith (second from left) and John McDonnell (third from right) deliver 100,000 signature petition about Kew Gardens to Downing Street

Constituency chairman Georgina Butler said: "We are delighted that Zac Goldsmith has been reselected as the Conservative candidate for Richmond Park and North Kingston in the forthcoming General Election, and we look forward to having him back again as our representative in Parliament.

"After a resounding victory in the 2015 General Election, his absence from Parliament since last December has been a disappointment.

"He is widely regarded the best MP that Richmond Park and North Kingston has ever had, and we need him back to represent our residents effectively.

'He will continue the fight against Heathrow expansion'

"Far from being a hardened Brexiteer as his opponents have painted him, he will fight for the best deal for Britain.

"He has led on guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and is a champion of strong protection for the environment.

"He will also continue to lead the fight against Heathrow expansion, an issue which continues to concern our residents."

The by-election defeat marked the second setback for Mr Goldsmith within months, after he lost to Sadiq Khan in the 2016 London mayoral election.

That campaign was criticised, even within the Tory Party, for its negative messaging and focus on Labour Party Mr Khan's Muslim background

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