Former MP pays tribute to Eastbourne

Stephen Lloyd
Stephen Lloyd

Defeated MP Stephen Lloyd spoke of his disappointment at his loss and passion for the town in the moments after his shock departure from Parliament in the early hours of May 8.

Mr Lloyd suffered an unexpected blow in the parliamentary elections when he lost to Conservative Caroline Ansell.

Forecasters had predicted a comfortable win for the 57-year-old Liberal Democrat and that he would increase his 3,435 vote majority.

But at 4.30am at the Winter Garden following the ballot papers count, it was revealed Mrs Ansell, a mother of three and teacher, had beaten Mr Lloyd by 733 votes.

As Mrs Ansell was congratulated by her supporters, Mr Lloyd was being comforted by friends and campaigners.

He spoke to the Herald before he left for the Afton Hotel where his supporters were waiting anxiously for news and a party was planned.

“I’ve never had as much fun as being MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon,” he said. “Thank you very much Eastbourne, it’s been a real pleasure.”

Mr Lloyd said it had clearly not been a good night for the Liberal Democrats nationally and he was disappointed with the result in Eastbourne.

“I ran a great campaign with a fantastic campaign team but didn’t quite pull it off,” he said.

“It’s such a lovely town and I have enjoyed it so much.

“These five years will never, ever leave me and the memory of it and what we achieved and what we achieved together in Eastbourne is such a privilege.

“Being an MP for Eastbourne is the best job I have ever had.”

Mr Lloyd said he was going to have a break and a much- needed holiday with his partner Cherine and then “come back and take stock”.

Mr Lloyd was back in the political background on Saturday morning for the Eastbourne Borough C0ouncil election count at the Winter Garden when he saw the Lib Dems retain control of the administration and increase their majority.

To see the full interview with Stephen Lloyd visit www.eastbourneherald.co.uk and click on Election 2015.

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