Tuesday, 11 May 2010


If you supported me in the General Election and you are feeling uneasy with the news that the Liberal Democrats are considering whether to enter into a formal coalition with the Conservatives, may I reassure you that your vote in Henley was important and not wasted.

Firstly, your support contributed to the overall number of votes for Liberal Democrats across Britain being recorded as nearly 6.8m. That figure compares to 8.6m for Labour and 10.7m for the Conservatives. The next highest vote tally was 168,000 for the Democratic Unionists. Your support means that the Liberal Democrats have been taken more seriously this time than they have for decades.

Secondly, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrat negotiating team have been involved in detailed talks with the Conservatives to ensure that they can deliver Liberal Democrat policies in government. That is no mean achievement for a party which has been in opposition since the 1920s. In the coming months and years, I hope we will see Liberal Democrat priorities coming about, not just being talked about.

Thirdly, your vote ensured that the Liberal Democrat remain the only challengers to the Conservatives in Henley. You can rest assured that Henley Liberal Democrats will continue to work for your support and to deliver Liberal Democrat success in south east Oxfordshire. We will still challenge the Conservatives locally and we will argue for Liberal Democrat principles and values at every level of government but we will respect the co-operation which I hope will be established nationally to provide an effective government.

Please be assured that the Liberal Democrats will fight every step of the way for our beliefs and values and we will seek to earn and retain your support throughout this fascinating and potentially challenging period in British politics. And at the next election we will robustly challenge all the other parties, outlining Liberal Democrat policies and fighting for your support to ensure that we can continue to work towards our fundamental goal of a fairer, more equal society.

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