July 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Camden’s one remaining Liberal Democrat councillor has pledged to “continue to cause trouble” after all of her colleagues were ejected from the town hall – and her party fell behind the Greens in the number of votes it attracted.
On Friday, Flick Rea was re-elected in Fortune Green after nearly three decades of service.
The council’s longest serving member is now the only Lib Dem left after 12 of her party colleagues were ousted by Labour and Conservative challengers.
Overall, the Liberal Democrats polled 24,861 votes in Camden, leaving the party in fourth place behind the Greens on 26,556.
But Cllr Rea said: “I will continue to cause trouble. I’ve been a councillor for 28 years. I intend to put the knowledge to good use for the benefit of residents in Fortune Green.
“I’ve lived through a lot since 1974 when I first joined the Liberals, as they were then. Politics has gone through a lot of changes.
“Life’s very circular. Who would have considered that the Labour Party would have been so badly defeated in 2006 that we would have taken control of the council?
“Things change, things don’t stay the same and they shouldn’t stay the same because it’s all about moving on, it’s about the future. I have children and grandchildren, I care about the future.”
The Lib Dems lost their Camden group leader and former council leader Keith Moffitt, who had served in West Hampstead since 1994, Hampstead Town councillor Linda Chung, Tom Simon from Belsize and three Haverstock councillors, including Matt Sanders, an adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Mr Moffitt said: “I thought we would lose a few seats but never dreamed it would be this bad both in Camden and across London. I think I thought our personal vote would make the difference. It didn’t work out that way.
“In the end, there was a national tide against the coalition parties and the Lib Dems, as the junior coalition party, has suffered more.”
The Green Party celebrated coming third, behind the Tories, with 37,781, and the overwhelming victors, Labour, with 77,502.
It was not enough to increase the Greens’ tally of one councillor, however.
Sian Berry was elected in Highgate ward to replace Maya de Souza, who did not stand again.