Sir Alan Beith backs Lib Dems to rebuild

Sir Alan Beith at the election count in Alwnick'Picture by Jane Coltman
Sir Alan Beith at the election count in Alwnick'Picture by Jane Coltman

Retired Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick, Sir Alan Beith, admits the Party’s disastrous General Election performance has been far worse than he could have imagined, but has backed the group to rebuild and recover.

The Lib Dems have suffered huge casualties, including former treasury secretary Danny Alexander who was ousted from his Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat, while leader Nick Clegg has stood down. Things could get even worse for the Party, as it could lose the Berwick seat which it has held for more than 40 years. The result is expected soon.

Speaking at the count in Alnwick today, Sir Alan conceded: “It is obviously a very disappointing result for us. We knew all along that doing the right thing for the country was not necessarily the best thing for the Party. But that price has been higher than we expected and we have lost a lot of good members of Parliament.

“It is now up to my colleagues to sit round and plan the rebuilding. We have done it before and we can do it again. We will be back and we will recover.”

Sir Alan represented the Berwick constituency for more than four decades, but stood down ahead of the 2015 election. He admitted that his predecessor Julie Pörksen is facing a huge task to retain the Lib Dem seat and could suffer from the sea of Tory blue which has swept across the nation.

He said: “Julie has proved an outstanding candidate and has proved she is a hard worker. The result will be affected by the national trend and not by anything that Julie has done. She has a great future.”