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Scottish Lib Dems decide against legal challenge after two-vote defeat

Candidate Elizabeth Riches lost out to the SNP’s Stephen Gethins by just two votes.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have decided not to take legal action over the North East Fife General Election result.

The party had been considering a court challenge after candidate Elizabeth Riches lost out to the SNP’s Stephen Gethins by just two votes.

Mr Gethins was returned as MP of the constituency with the smallest majority in the UK after three recounts.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “Many people have asked us to challenge the result in court.

“We have given this careful consideration and, despite legal advice that we would have grounds to challenge the result, it has been decided not to go to court.

“We have decided there is insufficient evidence to justify a lengthy and expensive legal challenge. It would be expensive for us, expensive to the taxpayer and an inconvenience to the voters, so we could not sanction that without sufficient evidence to warrant it.”

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Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie (Jane Barlow/PA)

Responding to the decision, Mr Gethins said: “This was obviously a matter for the Liberal Democrats and Fife Council. Since the election I have been getting on with the job of representing constituents across North East Fife regardless of how they voted.

“I would like to pay due credit to the returning officer and everyone involved in the count last Thursday. It was a long evening both for the counting staff and activists from all parties who were a credit to the political process that evening.”

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