General Election 2015: Former Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow pays price of Lib Dem coalition

The outgoing Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow branded the 2010 coalition agreement as ‘the right thing for the nation, but not for the Liberal Democrats’.

Mr Burstow secured 16,811 votes, 3,921 short of the 20,732 gained by new Conservative MP Paul Scully.

The Liberal Democrat MP revealed that he would miss his constituency but is comforted by what he achieved during his tenure.

He said: “I’m obviously feeling sad after serving the constituency for 18 years – I’m no longer going to have that privilege.

“However I’m also proud of the things I’ve been able to get done as a constituency MP and in government over the last 5 years.

“Sometimes doing the right thing [the coalition] doesn’t mean you get the right result.

“We’ll now see how the government is formed, what that government is like and what it does in terms of trying to balance the books and whether it will go too far.”

Mr Burstow also predicted the results will benefit the party over time.

He said: “I think there’s a lot to play for over the next five years – I think the party could come back stronger.”

Once the results were revealed Mr Burstow was disappointed but paid homage to his former constituents.

He said: “This is an area full of hidden gems – things that we must cherish, things that we must protect.

“We have to go away tonight – we have to lick some of our wounds and reflect upon what the electorate has told us throughout this campaign.

“Since I’ve been around the doors over the last few weeks I know that people think that we have a council that listens, a council that works for this community.

“But we also have to take heart and take pride in what we have done by stepping up to the plate in 2010 and being prepared to enter into a coalition that may well have proved our downfall when it came to these elections.”

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks

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