Hampshire politicians give verdict on new government

Hampshire politicians give verdict on new government

Sandra Gidley

Alan Whitehead

First published in News

THE new coalition Government is a bitter sweet moment for Hampshire Liberal Democrats who have been battling the Conservatives for years.

On the one hand the power sharing deal has given the party its first Liberal ministers since the 1940s, but it comes too late for those who have lost seats and could provoke a backlash from supporters.

Former Romsey Lib Dem MP Sandra Gidley said she was “frustrated” and “a bit sore”

that main Conservative campaign in the constituency, where she was defeated after ten years in office, had been to warn voters that if they voted yellow they got Brown.

“If people had known this was the outcome there may have been a different vote,” she said. “There were so many people that said ‘I can’t vote for you because we need a change of Government. It’s nothing personal’.” Mrs Gidley added: “I personally would have been happier with an issue by issue coalition rather than a ministerial bums on seats. I think it would have left us freer to criticise.”

She said that, given talks had broken down with Labour, the “only game in town” was the Conservatives.

“Although many of us had fought fierce battles against the Conservatives during the election, ultimately there comes a time where you just have to try to get the best arrangement you can and get on with the business of Government.”

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Last night Lib Dem Martin Tod who lost to Tory rival Steve Brine in the battle for the Winchester constituency admitted his surprise and said “I didn’t fight the General Election to see Conservatives in Number 10, but what matters will be the programme for government and whether it matches up to what we were campaigning on.

“There is no point in feeling bitter about the election – it’s over.”

Labour’s re-elected MP for Southampton Test Alan Whitehead said it was clear yesterday morning that the Lib Dem discussions with Labour were “more a bargaining device” with the Conservatives.

He said: “Labour now goes into opposition as the progressive party seeking to ensure that, over the next uncertain period, those people who need our protection and the steps that were taken to point us in the right economic direction are not undermined by policies that will put us back in recession and undo the benefits achieved over the past two years.”

Mr Whitehead added: “A huge number of people that supported the Lib Dems will be very dismayed by the turn of events.”

Mr Whitehead praised Mr Brown’s leadership as Prime Minister both nationally and internationally, which he said had saved the country from financial “meltdown”.

He added he had been a “first rate” chancellor. “History will judge him far kinder than some people are at the moment,” he said.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief who has been advising Mr Brown, said he believed that the Lib Dems had made a mistake.

“I think the Liberal Democrats will regret what they are doing,” he said.

“A lot of Liberal Democrat voters have voted Liberal Democrat to stop there being a Tory government and I think they will feel very badly let down.”

Comments (9)

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9:47am Wed 12 May 10

DCM says...

Right through the campaign we said vote Lib Dem, get Lib Dem. Now we have a government that contains Lib Dems so we were right. We were always going to be in coalition and we were always going to do it with the party that won the most votes.
We've stuck to our principles and I can look anyone in the eye and say we've done the right thing.
It's all very well Labour trying to make political capital out of it but they would have done a deal with us if they could. Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution.
Right through the campaign we said vote Lib Dem, get Lib Dem. Now we have a government that contains Lib Dems so we were right. We were always going to be in coalition and we were always going to do it with the party that won the most votes. We've stuck to our principles and I can look anyone in the eye and say we've done the right thing. It's all very well Labour trying to make political capital out of it but they would have done a deal with us if they could. Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution. DCM
  • Score: 0

10:25am Wed 12 May 10

Lone Ranger says...

DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th
ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer.
.
SW mass-debt how apt
DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer. . SW mass-debt how apt Lone Ranger
  • Score: 0

10:34am Wed 12 May 10

legod7 says...

Lone Ranger wrote:
DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer. . SW mass-debt how apt
Totally agree.
The lib dems are only a break away from the Labour party after all.
They are not true Liberals in the proper sense of the word.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger[/bold] wrote: DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer. . SW mass-debt how apt[/p][/quote]Totally agree. The lib dems are only a break away from the Labour party after all. They are not true Liberals in the proper sense of the word. legod7
  • Score: 0

10:54am Wed 12 May 10

DCM says...

Lone Ranger wrote:
DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer. . SW mass-debt how apt
Non-elected? Sorry, you must have forgotten about the 24% of people who voted for us.
I'll think you'll find we have proposed lots of different solutions whilst we watched Labour damage this country.
Mass-debt - that will be the debt caused by Labour's mismanagement then which we now have to sort out.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger[/bold] wrote: DCM said ............ "Plus now that they're not in government they can now criticise without proposing another solution".........th ats something you and the Tories have had years of practice of....make the most of you non-elected semi government role....its not going to last too much longer. . SW mass-debt how apt[/p][/quote]Non-elected? Sorry, you must have forgotten about the 24% of people who voted for us. I'll think you'll find we have proposed lots of different solutions whilst we watched Labour damage this country. Mass-debt - that will be the debt caused by Labour's mismanagement then which we now have to sort out. DCM
  • Score: 0

10:59am Wed 12 May 10

southy says...

forget the recession and say hello to depression that will show signs of it before the end of the year.
forget the recession and say hello to depression that will show signs of it before the end of the year. southy
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Wed 12 May 10

aghhhhh says...

Shame on you!
The Lib Dems canvassed with the message they were the only ones who could stop conservatives getting in. They should never be trusted again.
Shame on you! The Lib Dems canvassed with the message they were the only ones who could stop conservatives getting in. They should never be trusted again. aghhhhh
  • Score: 0

2:23pm Wed 12 May 10

goard says...

Yes, I am sure the Lib Dems and Cons will come to blows but in time - the important thing is, together, in a year they can put both their finer plans into being and just may pull our Country together. I fear, sooner or later, egos will get in the way of putting Britain first and members self importance will get in the way.
Personally, I am deeply saddened by Mrs. Gidley stepping down and I do not think we will have a more sincere and dedicated politician as Sandra Gidley and I really do think there were dirty tricks used to usurp her and her dedicated team.

goard
Yes, I am sure the Lib Dems and Cons will come to blows but in time - the important thing is, together, in a year they can put both their finer plans into being and just may pull our Country together. I fear, sooner or later, egos will get in the way of putting Britain first and members self importance will get in the way. Personally, I am deeply saddened by Mrs. Gidley stepping down and I do not think we will have a more sincere and dedicated politician as Sandra Gidley and I really do think there were dirty tricks used to usurp her and her dedicated team. goard goard
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Wed 12 May 10

Jammy Donut says...

I am counting down to the maiden speech by Bimbo Nokes from La La Land.......not holding my breath
I am counting down to the maiden speech by Bimbo Nokes from La La Land.......not holding my breath Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Wed 12 May 10

St.DaveH says...

Our government is now formed from two party’s with totally opposed moral ethic and policy, and does not bode well......The LDs and Clegg have sold their soul for a brief moment of limelight that will cost them dearly in future elections...Some of the LD electoral message must rankle deeply with their own voters....never again.....Why does it feel like a betrayal of democracy that the third place team ended up in a position of such power when they were not the choice of our population????
Our government is now formed from two party’s with totally opposed moral ethic and policy, and does not bode well......The LDs and Clegg have sold their soul for a brief moment of limelight that will cost them dearly in future elections...Some of the LD electoral message must rankle deeply with their own voters....never again.....Why does it feel like a betrayal of democracy that the third place team ended up in a position of such power when they were not the choice of our population???? St.DaveH
  • Score: 0

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