Towards a new kind of politics
Many residents have contacted me since the election about the new Liberal Democrat-Conservative Coalition Government. Most have been delighted that two parties can set aside their differences and work together in the national interest. A few have expressed concerns - whilst recognising it is now up to the Government to prove itself. No-one doubts that we are witnessing a new kind of politics.
The Coalition Agreement
I spent many hours in meetings debating the options and the coalition agreement. Frankly, the coalition with the Conservatives was the only option to give stability to the country at this time of financial and political crisis. Labour were disinterested in serious negotiation and unable to deliver the change voters clearly wanted.
I have been pleasantly surprised by how willing the Conservatives were to embrace many Lib Dem policies and ideas. Of course, Lib Dems had to compromise too, but the new Government will implement policies on lower taxes for people on low incomes, on the environment, on civil liberties, on political and economic reform that come straight and uniquely from our manifesto.
What it means for Kingston and Surbiton
The coalition means that for the first time in decades, a Government has been chosen by a majority of the population. Here, in Kingston, this represents up to 87% of the voters from a high turnout!
As the local MP, and in my new appointment in the Government (as Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs), I will continue to campaign to make sure residents in Kingston get a fair deal - in education, health and services for the elderly and vulnerable. Protecting our environment and making Kingston an even safer place to live will be shared aims with the new Lib Dem councillors representing you on Kingston Council.
Thank you to all those who backed us on May 6th and, as always, we will work our hardest for everyone locally, whatever their political views.