Former Lib Dem Scottish Secretary issues battle cry to ‘get Flick Rea re-elected’

Liberal Democrat candidates with Alastair Carmichael MP at their campaign launch in Belsize Park. Pi

Liberal Democrat candidates with Alastair Carmichael MP at their campaign launch in Belsize Park. Picture: Harry Taylor - Credit: Harry Taylor

The former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has urged Camden Liberal Democrats to leave nothing to chance in getting Flick Rea re-elected.

The MP for Orkney and Shetland, issued his battle cry at the Lib Dem campaign launch last night.

“When I first came to London in 1984, I realised I was in the presence of greatness then. Flick is formidable, and has given phenomenal service to her party here and across London.

“This is a simple message; get this woman re-elected,” he said.

He was Scottish Secretary between 2012 and 2015, during the coalition.

The Lib Dems will be hoping to bolster their numbers at the polls in May. Cllr Rea, who represents Fortune Green, was their sole surviving Camden councillor after the elections in 2014 when their numbers were slashed.

They had previously lead the council between 2006 and 2010.

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Addressing around 50 activists at the campaign launch, Cllr Rea said: “I didn’t know what survivors guilt was until I woke up the morning after the election in 2014 to find myself the only candidate left. I think it was the worst day of my life.”

The Lib Dem’s numbers in the council chamber have since been bolstered by the defection of former Camden Conservative Party leader Andrew Marshall, who joined the party on New Years’ Day.

Several candidates who lost their position on the council in 2014 are standing again in May, including Tom Simon in Belsize and Linda Chung in Hampstead Town.

Speaking to the Ham&High before the launch, Mr Carmichael, who was one of eight Lib Dem MPs to keep their seats at the 2015 election, offered some advice for campaigners.

“People say it’s a difficult time for the Liberal Democrats, in my 38 years in the party there’s never been an easy time for us.

“Politics has a need for a liberal voice, and a Labour Party in Camden without effective opposition will turn in on itself.

“It’s not rocket science. Keep fighting, deliver the leaflets, knock doors, be on social media. We’ve got a strong message that I think has a real resonance.”