Maajid Nawaz: ‘Lib Dems need a fundamental change to succeed’

Maajid Nawaz at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

Maajid Nawaz at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Liberal Democrat Maajid Nawaz says his party needs to undergo a “fundamental change” if it is to succeed in the future, as campaigners complain the party’s central command neglected the Hampstead and Kilburn candidate.

Mr Nawaz finished third in the general election race for Hampstead and Kilburn last week and lost 25 per cent of the party’s share of the vote from 2010.

He acknowledged this was a consequence of the Lib Dems’ hugely unpopular decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives nationally but criticised the party’s method of election campaigning.

“We need to stand up for certain core principles which are uniform across the country,” he said.

“The strategy of attempting to defend held seats with messages that work constituency-by-constituency, but don’t allow voters to see what we stand for on a national level, needs to be looked at now.”

One campaigner for Mr Nawaz, who did not wish to be named, gave an insight into the frustrations with Lib Dem HQ.

“They decided that all resources should go up to Lynne Featherstone,” he said.

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“What annoyed a lot of people was that there was huge support for Maajid, people turning up to help him, and they were told to go and help a Lib Dem in another constituency in which they didn’t live. Someone selling a different product to Maajid.”