Alan Beith to step down in 2015

Alan Beith, MP Berwick-upon-Tweed

Sir Alan Beith has announced that he will be standing down from Parliament at the next election, after serving Berwick upon Tweed as their MP for 42 years.

Nick Clegg said:

Sir Alan has been a huge figure in British and both Liberal and Liberal Democrat politics over an astonishing four decades.

The present generation of political leaders in Britain were barely out of nursery when Alan Beith was first making his mark on the floor of the House of Commons.

So it is little wonder that when Sir Alan speaks today, he commands the attention of all parties in Westminster.

Sir Alan has held and excelled at pretty much every key role in the Liberals and Liberal Democrats – from Chief Whip to Deputy Leader and from Home Affairs spokesman to now Chair of both the Justice Select Committee and the Liaison Committee.

Speaking personally, I have learned to trust and rely on Alan’s enormous wisdom and to greatly admire his passionate commitment to his Berwick upon Tweed constituency and to the North East, which shines through in everything he does.

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13 Comments

  • Helen Tedcastle 7th Aug '13 - 3:21pm

    A true LIberal and great servant of the Party.

  • Christian Moon 7th Aug '13 - 9:15pm

    Alan is a wonderful man and will be a great loss to the party in the Commons

  • Michael Main 8th Aug '13 - 7:38am

    What a splendid example he has set us all !

  • Another seat lost in 2015 then

  • There is no reason why a new Lib Dem PPC for Berwick on Tweed will necessarily lose the seat in 2015, especially as she/he will have Alan Beith’s active backing during the next two years. Incidentally, the point has been made that Alan has been a Liberal/Lib Dem MP for a longer continuous period than any one since Lloyd George (Caernarfon Boroughs 1890-1945), but a no less remarkable statistic is that he has been the longest continuously serving Liberal/Lib Dem MP for an English constituency since Thomas Burt (Morpeth 1874-1918).

  • given Alan’s voting record in social liberal matters I can’t say I’ll be shedding any tears…

  • He voted against gay marriage and for £9000 a year tuition fees. Won’t be missed.

  • David Evans 8th Aug '13 - 10:27am

    @Dave

    Only by people whose attention span is so short they will never realise that everything we have now is founded on the work that people like Alan did for decades when it wasn’t cool to be a Liberal.

  • Candidate will need to be a well-established local figure to stand a chance in independent-minded Northumberland. Only a fool would argue that the 2000 majority is not Beith-specific. And I would guess that Alan is representing his constituents’ views on gay marriage. What are our MPs – Party ciphers or the peoples’ representatives (cue debate on Burkeian principle)

  • I disagree with Alan on equal marriage but I’m not sure that is reason enough to dismiss 40 years of work as a Liberal/Liberal Democrat member or parliament.

  • Stephen Howse 8th Aug '13 - 11:44am

    We will miss him up here, he has been a magnificent servant to both this constituency and to this party. He is also the nicest, most decent man you could hope to work with and to have as your Member of Parliament.

    If you want to give our new PPC the very best start then please do come on up to the Berwick constituency. We will be having a big action day on October 5th in Berwick itself and will be holding a series of others on the surrounding weekends. Get in touch with me by email or with the constituency office on 01665 602 901 if you want to help out – if you can’t come in person then there are phone banks to work through too.

  • Alex Macfie 8th Aug '13 - 2:53pm

    It has a Liberal voting tradition, being the former seat of William Beveridge. And to be quite honest, I don’t think the average voter cares that much either way about gay marriage. Not that they don’t have an opinion, rather they generally don’t base their voting choice on that sort of issue.

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