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'High' Tory threat to MP Lorely's seat

SOLIHULL's Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt is set to lose her seat at the next election, the party's annual conference in Bournemouth was told this week.

SOLIHULL's Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt is set to lose her seat at the next election, the party's annual conference in Bournemouth was told this week.

She wrested the seat from the Conservatives in 2005 and with the resurgence of the Tories under David Cameron, they are likely to win it back, according to a study published by Liberal Vision, a campaigning group within the party.

It said the Tory threat in Solihull was "high". "In any normal circumstances, this would be considered a safe Tory seat - even in the Blair landslide of 1997, the Tories won here with a majority of 11,000.

"The council election results for the Lib Dems have been strong here, but one can't get away from the fact that the majority is close to zero." Mrs Burt won Solihull three years ago with a majority of just 279.

The report's authors believe that "maverick millionaire" John Hemming is safe in neighbouring Yardley, where support for the Lib Dems is "gob-smackingly huge".

Speaking from Bournemouth, Mrs Burt said: "Seats with a Liberal Democrat MP very often don't conform to the national swing because we work hard.

"I have small majority to defend but I hope people will value the work I have put in."

Mrs Burt, a former Black Country town councillor, has risen quickly through the party ranks in the short time she has been in Parliament.

She is chair of the Parliamentary Party and Lib Dem spokeswoman on small businesses.

 

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