An online petition has been launched calling on former Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd to stand again in the next election.
Mr Lloyd lost his parliamentary seat in the 2015 May elections to Conservative Caroline Ansell.
The 58-year-old says he has not yet decided whether he will throw his hat in the political ring at the next parliamentary elections, currently due to take place in 2020.
He maintains a strong presence in Eastbourne, has a home in Old Town, is a regular at various events and supporters say he still campaigns for local issues.
He currently works as a business development manager at a local firm.
The change.org petition has been set up by Eastbourne resident Scott Haffenden.
He said, “Stephen Lloyd has still not made up his mind whether to stand again for MP in Eastbourne and Willingdon.
“While in office he did amazingly well at bringing local issues to the forefront of the media and fought tirelessly for Eastbourne and still does.
“Let’s show Stephen he is wanted and still appreciated and help him to make up his mind to stand again.”
Mr Lloyd said he was surprised to hear of the petition.
“I’m absolutely bowled over by the support people are showing me from across our town with this petition,” he said.
“I do not know Mr Haffenden who put it up but it’s very kind of him to be so supportive of my time as Eastbourne’s MP and to even publicly state that he made a mistake by voting for my then opponent in the general election last year. Such candour is impressive.
“As to the content of the request asking me to re-stand, all I’d like to say at this moment is I loved the job serving Eastbourne when I was the MP and continue to love the town, its people and our tremendous sense of community.
“It really is a wonderful place to live.
“I won’t deny the petition is obviously a really positive sign that if I do decide to throw my cap in the ring it appears many residents in the town will rally around in support.
“So what I can say to the readers of the Herald is that I’m giving it very serious thought and intend to make an announcement this summer. Meanwhile, thank you to all those who have signed Mr Haffenden’s petition and for the extraordinarily generous words people have written.”
Following his defeat in May 2015, Mr Lloyd announced he would retire from politics saying he “never had as much fun as being MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon”.
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