Baroness Susan Kramer writes…Why I’m backing Elaine Bagshaw for Tower Hamlets Mayor


Like most of you I don’t “do miserable” and I’ve been itching to start the fight back.  Local Government has always been Lib Dem territory because we believe in communities and remain aghast at how badly so many are served by their local governments.  So when I got a chance to support Elaine Bagshaw in launching her campaign for Mayor of Tower Hamlets I jumped at it.  Of all the places that need effective local Government focussed on people, listening to people and functioning with integrity, Tower Hamlets must be near the top of the list.  As Elaine says, it’s a largely deprived community in the shadow of the extra-ordinary wealth of the City of London.

Elaine has lived in the area for years so she knows Tower Hamlets’ issues like the back of her hand.  But what I also love is that Elaine is part of the new generation who will now take over our party.  I don’t mean just new as in young, though that is true of many, but also the flood of new members of all ages who are joining with such a sense of purpose and with a vision of the future.  Old warhorses like me can provide the back-up but one silver lining of a bad defeat is that a natural passing of the baton takes place.  And goodness those folk did turn out at Elaine’s launch, at least 50 of them, all ready to spend the day on the doorsteps.

I have been running into Labour MPs who are genuinely grieving for their party in a way that seems rather inconceivable for most Lib Dems.  Labour knows it went so wrong during 5 years of opposition and is pre-occupied with soul searching.  Lib Dems know that we made a decision for the sake of the country even though it damaged us terribly.  We also look with pride at so many Lib Dem achievements which have been so effective that they are now everyone’s conventional wisdom.  So I don’t doubt that we will build back and it starts with local elections, by-elections and the battle to stay in the EU.  In the Lords, just watch us defending human rights, the vulnerable and yet building a strong economy for the future.  As Nick said, liberalism is needed more than ever.  What better reason to return with energy and purpose to the battle for the future.

* Susan Kramer is the Lib Dem spokesperson for Economics. She is a member of the House of Lords and former MP for Richmond Park.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Eddie Sammon 27th May '15 - 3:16pm

    She seems like a nice person and it looks like she has a good plan! Improving services, social housing and also making savings by scrapping a local newspaper.

    I lived in Tower Hamlets for two years. Popular, Limehouse and then Shadwell. I am very fond of the place and might move back there! Some areas are rough, I got away from an attempted mugging once, but mostly I enjoyed the place.

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