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Change needed says MP

LIB Dem MP Lorely Burt has said there needs to be a change in the way the coalition works at Westminster.

LIB Dem MP Lorely Burt has said there needs to be a change in the way the coalition works at Westminster.

Admitting her party had received a “kicking” in the local elections, she said that an attempt to present a united front with Conservatives had backfired.

“In the first year of this national coalition we have tried to operate on a consensus basis,” she said.

“We felt it was better to settle our differences in private. As a result, a lot of people think that the Tories have led us by the nose.

“In fact there have been a lot of strong discussions, and disagreements, behind closed doors, that people haven’t seen.

“We need to get the message out there about what the Lib Dems have achieved in government.”

Across England, the Lib Dems lost 748 council seats - the worst local election result in their history.

Ironically, in places like Solihull, the Tories were able to capitalise on their coalition-partner’s waning popularity.

Mrs Burt said that from now on, more debates, over issues like NHS reform, might have to be thrashed out in public.

But she denied that the sweeping defeats for her party would mean a breakdown in the coalition.

“It’s not the end, but I think there will be changes in the way we present ourselves.

“And there’s no doubt we will come back resurgent in local politics for the simple reason that our councillors work the hardest.”

Solihull-based MEP Nikki Sinclaire said the backlash against the Lib Dems, on a local and national level, was predictable.

“There’s a lesson here that if you betray the electorate they will come after you.”

 

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