‘I was lucky’ admits Tom Brake, south west London’s only surviving Liberal Democrat

Tom Brake claimed he was ‘lucky’ to be the last Liberal Democrat standing in south-west London.

The Carshalton and Wallington MP held his seat on a horror night for his party in their traditional capital stranglehold, while colleagues Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Paul Burstow were all on the end of Conservative defeats in Twickenham, Kingston and Surbiton and Sutton and Cheam.

He will now return to Parliament as one of only eight Liberal Democrat MPs – down a staggering 48 on the number returned five years ago.

“I was lucky,” Mr Brake told BBC Sunday Politics.

“I was slightly further ahead and had a very strong base and we’ve worked very hard here for the last 25 years. People know who I am and I’m very active in the constituency.

“The Conservatives have quite a lot of money to deploy in election campaigns but they didn’t deploy it against me but they did against Paul, Ed and Vince.”

While many point to the Liberal Democrats’ high-profile u-turn over tuition fees as a major reason behind the collapse of their vote – Mr Brake claimed more should have been done to associate themselves with the economic successes of the coalition.

“Tuition fees was an issue and remained an issue throughout the five years of the Parliament but the biggest problem that we had was failing to share in the economic recovery,” he added.

“We tried to get that message across but for everyone one Liberal Democrat minister speaking about the successes, they were five Conservatives.

“Key ministers like Ed Davey and Vince Cable played a significant part in the success of the economy but we never really got that message across.

“However, we are starting the fightback now. We’ve had 5000 people join the party in the last 48 hours and they want to be part of that process.”

Mr Brake also confirmed he would not be standing to succeed Nick Clegg, who stepped down as leader of the party following their nightmare performance.

Current Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron and former minister Norman Lamb are favourites for the position.

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks

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