Lib Dems react to election 'wipe out' in Waltham Forest

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Bob Sullivan said the Lib Dems appear to people as being 'in bed' with the Conservatives Bob Sullivan said the Lib Dems appear to people as being 'in bed' with the Conservatives

The Liberal Democrats have reacted to a night of political “slaughter” which left the party with no seats on Waltham Forest council.

In a reflection of a disastrous election night for the party nationally, voters in the borough banished the Lib Dems to four years in the political wilderness as Labour retained control of the council. 

The party lost all six of its seats after holding the balance of power at the town hall in a coalition with Labour as recently as 2010.

Group leader Bob Sullivan, who had served as a Leyton councillor for 32 years, was pushed into fourth place behind Labour, with just 12 per cent of the vote.

Senior Lib Dem Farooq Qureshi also lost his seat in Forest ward to the ruling party, which strengthened its hold on power.

Mr Sullivan laid the blame squarely at the coalition government and hinted at disillusionment with the party’s national leadership, saying he believed the Lib Dems had become too closely associated with the Conservatives.

He said: “People in Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone don’t like the Conservatives and at a national level the Liberal Democrats were in bed with the Tories.

“We got slaughtered – well and truly thumped.”

Farooq Qureshi believes the national party has let activists down. 

He said: “I served with the best of my ability and tried to look after the area and residents but the people obviously no longer require my services.

“The national direction of the party has let us down and people wanted change so good luck to them.

“I do think there should have been some consideration for the party at a local level as we fought hard to make changes and listen to the people.

“There is plenty of time to think about the future but it is highly unlikely I will stand as a councillor again.

“I served with honour and dignity and did everything a councillor could do and should do. I haven’t got the heart to go back and face the same defeat after a decade. I have nothing new to offer.

“We were a barrier between Labour and the Conservatives and that constructive criticism will no longer be there. Good luck to the new councillors, I hope they can serve the people better.

Mahmood Hussain, served in High Street ward for one term.

He said: “It was a disaster unfortunately. I think we were let down by some of the policies implemented at the national level.

“The government should have reduced the tuition fees and found a better way around the bedroom tax rather than hitting people hard.

“I told people in my ward that we are a local party and will tackle local issues, but the government’s cuts agenda must have stuck in their minds.”

Patrick Smith stood for the Liberal Democrats in Higham Hill, where the party were thrashed by Labour, who polled 67 per cent of the vote.

Mr Smith said it was a sad day for the community.

“My greatest fear is the loss of all Liberal Democrat councillors in one election now means that the council will not have the Lib Dem scrutiny on behalf of fairness and equality in public accountability.”

Labour took 44 of a possible 60 seats, with the Tories taking the rest.

Comments (11)

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5:50pm Wed 28 May 14

sahw says...

Nationally, the Lib Dems leaped at the chance to become the rump end of the Tory government, embracing the majority of their policies. Voters didn't forget that at these local elections.

On a local note, voters also saw through the Lib Dem lies in their "Focus newsletter". Including the lies that they had brought improvements to wards in which they had no representation for the past four years.

I believe the borough will be far better off without their "help" in council!
Nationally, the Lib Dems leaped at the chance to become the rump end of the Tory government, embracing the majority of their policies. Voters didn't forget that at these local elections. On a local note, voters also saw through the Lib Dem lies in their "Focus newsletter". Including the lies that they had brought improvements to wards in which they had no representation for the past four years. I believe the borough will be far better off without their "help" in council! sahw
  • Score: 2

8:18pm Wed 28 May 14

Robert19 says...

You reap what you sow.
You reap what you sow. Robert19
  • Score: 2

10:15pm Wed 28 May 14

Sam Hain says...

I totally agree with the comments above. Local Lib Dems can seek to pass the blame on to their Coalition colleagues in Westminster but it won't wash. They were feeble and ineffectual and Focus was a tissue of lies and false claims so good riddance to bad rubbish I say. Their passing won't be mourned (or even noticed) by the people fo Waltham Forest..
I totally agree with the comments above. Local Lib Dems can seek to pass the blame on to their Coalition colleagues in Westminster but it won't wash. They were feeble and ineffectual and Focus was a tissue of lies and false claims so good riddance to bad rubbish I say. Their passing won't be mourned (or even noticed) by the people fo Waltham Forest.. Sam Hain
  • Score: 1

10:16pm Wed 28 May 14

red37red says...

looking at walthamstow we can tell who votes labour
looking at walthamstow we can tell who votes labour red37red
  • Score: 1

12:15am Thu 29 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

red37red wrote:
looking at walthamstow we can tell who votes labour
Look at the teeth.
[quote][p][bold]red37red[/bold] wrote: looking at walthamstow we can tell who votes labour[/p][/quote]Look at the teeth. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -2

8:45am Thu 29 May 14

ChingfordRomeo says...

At least the Lib Dem "Focus" is produced and paid for by the party. Unlike Labour's mouthpiece, Waltham Forest News, that is paid for by the local taxpayers.
At least the Lib Dem "Focus" is produced and paid for by the party. Unlike Labour's mouthpiece, Waltham Forest News, that is paid for by the local taxpayers. ChingfordRomeo
  • Score: 8

8:59am Thu 29 May 14

sahw says...

ChingfordRomeo wrote:
At least the Lib Dem "Focus" is produced and paid for by the party. Unlike Labour's mouthpiece, Waltham Forest News, that is paid for by the local taxpayers.
Is that supposed to justify the Lib Dem lies in "Focus"?
[quote][p][bold]ChingfordRomeo[/bold] wrote: At least the Lib Dem "Focus" is produced and paid for by the party. Unlike Labour's mouthpiece, Waltham Forest News, that is paid for by the local taxpayers.[/p][/quote]Is that supposed to justify the Lib Dem lies in "Focus"? sahw
  • Score: 1

10:24am Thu 29 May 14

Little_Australian says...

The accusation of lies seems to be banded about quite feely here. I would be honestly interested to know to what degree people can substantiate that claim. I imagine different leaflets go out in different electoral areas so there may be something I'm missing.
The accusation of lies seems to be banded about quite feely here. I would be honestly interested to know to what degree people can substantiate that claim. I imagine different leaflets go out in different electoral areas so there may be something I'm missing. Little_Australian
  • Score: 6

2:48pm Thu 29 May 14

Sam Hain says...

Little_Australian wrote:
The accusation of lies seems to be banded about quite feely here. I would be honestly interested to know to what degree people can substantiate that claim. I imagine different leaflets go out in different electoral areas so there may be something I'm missing.
There is, Little_Australian, an i in bandied and an r in freely!
[quote][p][bold]Little_Australian[/bold] wrote: The accusation of lies seems to be banded about quite feely here. I would be honestly interested to know to what degree people can substantiate that claim. I imagine different leaflets go out in different electoral areas so there may be something I'm missing.[/p][/quote]There is, Little_Australian, an i in bandied and an r in freely! Sam Hain
  • Score: -3

5:13pm Fri 30 May 14

PsiMonk says...

I wouldn't describe Focus as all lies. But in High Street ward, there was certainly some stuff where Lib Dems were taking credit for stuff that wasn't really done by them, some bits where what they were trumpeting as a massive bit of work was them just ringing the council street cleaning team or turning up with a big bag, and worst of all, any attempt to contact them in the years between local elections just went into the void - emails unanswered, problems ignored etc.
I wouldn't describe Focus as all lies. But in High Street ward, there was certainly some stuff where Lib Dems were taking credit for stuff that wasn't really done by them, some bits where what they were trumpeting as a massive bit of work was them just ringing the council street cleaning team or turning up with a big bag, and worst of all, any attempt to contact them in the years between local elections just went into the void - emails unanswered, problems ignored etc. PsiMonk
  • Score: 1

10:31am Sun 1 Jun 14

Robert19 says...

They put out a flyer locally saying there was a last minute surge to the Lib Dems. They came third after the Green candidate in our ward. The trouble is people won't believe them if they do have an unlikely surge in the future. And yes a whole list of potholes repaired, lights fixed etc appears to have its place but that is all they seem to do and in reality anyone can ring the Council up to get these things done. In a sense it infantilises the rest of us if only they appear to to be able to get things done.
They put out a flyer locally saying there was a last minute surge to the Lib Dems. They came third after the Green candidate in our ward. The trouble is people won't believe them if they do have an unlikely surge in the future. And yes a whole list of potholes repaired, lights fixed etc appears to have its place but that is all they seem to do and in reality anyone can ring the Council up to get these things done. In a sense it infantilises the rest of us if only they appear to to be able to get things done. Robert19
  • Score: 3

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