Stephen Lloyd announces he will not seek reselection for Eastbourne

Stephen Lloyd served as Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne from 2010-2015 and 2017-19.

He was a fantastic champion for the town and a brilliant campaigner who won against the odds in 2017. He promised his voters that he would not stand in the way of Brexit, even though he was a remainer and he kept that promise.  That was not the path the party was on and for a time, he did not take the Liberal Democrat whip in the Commons. There was no animosity, though, and he remains a highly respected figure within the party.

He announced yesterday that he would not seek re-selection when the local party chooses its parliamentary candidate for the next General Election.

He said:

After a great deal of thought I have finally decided that, after 19 years serving as both your parliamentary candidate and MP, I’ll not be seeking re-election at the next General Election.

It has been a huge privilege serving Eastbourne & Willingdon and I have loved every minute of it. Many thanks for your support over the years, I really am very grateful.
I will continue keeping doing what I have always done and what still remains the most important thing for me; playing an active role in our community to support our wonderful town.

It will though, no longer be either as your parliamentary candidate or member of parliament. That ship has sailed…..

The local party will shortly be conducting a selection process from our nationally approved parliamentary candidates list for a new PPC.

As the former MP and Chair I will remain neutral throughout this process as it’s only fair to give every candidate an equal chance.

I am confident our new PPC, whoever it is, can and will take back the seat from Caroline Ansell. It really is do-able in my opinion. Not least because Eastbourne & Willingdon deserves an MP who works ferociously hard for our lovely town and it’s people.

Thank you again my friends. It’s been a pleasure and an honour. Stay safe now.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Laurence Cox 19th May '21 - 12:06pm

    An honourable man who put his allegiance to the people who elected him above his Party. A pity that so many of our MPs elected in 2010 did not do likewise over their pledges on student tuition fees (on which he voted against the increase of the cap to £9k and the minimum level to £6k, alongside 20 other Lib Dem MPs on 9th December 2010).

  • nigel hunter 19th May '21 - 1:08pm

    If we are a party of community and the people it is indeed the MP,s responsibility to the people who elected him.They are the community

  • Steve Comer 20th May '21 - 8:04am

    But where do you draw the line between ‘serving the community’ and pure populism?

    When I lived in Bethnal Green in the early 1970s you could still see some faded fly posters from the 1970 General Election promoting Oliver Smedley as the “anti Common Market Liberal” candidate. That was clearly against party policy, and just made Liberals look divided and inconsistent. (Fortunately the posters were gone by the 1975 referendum!).

  • Steve, I think drawing the line in the case of Stephen is very easy. He was and is a Lib Dem. He knew his community supported him except regarding Brexit which he knew would lose him his seat as an MP.

    So the question was “Do I sacrifice one element of Liberal Democracy, in order to enable me to carry on supporting all the rest of Liberal Democracy, or do I sacrifice it all?”

    Too many people, most of whom had never thought it through, wanted him to be expelled from the party, never allowed to return etc etc. They preferred a Conservative MP to a 90% Liberal Democrat MP, but, of course, they never admitted to it.

    Stephen was a great MP and we will miss him.

  • I agree about Stephen Lloyd’s outstanding qualities as a Lib Dem and as a Lib Dem MP. I am further impressed that unlike some former MP’s he has not disappeared from sight or gone abroad to spend more time with ‘money’ but is instead Chair of his Local Party and continues to work hard in the cause of Liberal Democracy and seeking to help others get elected.

    The puritan desire to ‘cancel’ anyone not conforming 100% to Party Policy raises interesting points. For example Party Policy from 1997 -2010 was to oppose Tuition Fees entirely (the pledge to vote against any proposed increase was a last minute addition and of course far easier to keep than a 13 year commitment to abolish them altogether). In Coalition, roughly a third of our MP’s, including Stephen, voted for Party Policy a third abstained and a third voted against Party Policy and in favour of trebling Fees. Who should have been ‘cancelled’ in that situation?

    In 2005 we fought a General Election on a Manifesto that included support for a Referendum on EU Membership. A new Leader after Dec 2007 told us to vote against this when a Parliamentary Vote came up, even though one of his 2005 election leaflets proclaiming the opposite was widely circulated on social media! Many of us stayed true to the Manifesto we were elected on in 2005. Which side would Steven Comer praise for staying loyal to Party Policy?

    Between 2016 -2019 the LD’s proclaimed that a Second Referendum on membership of the EU MUST be held but that a second Referendum on Scottish Independence MUST NOT be held. Who was following Party Policy and who was not?

    I have been a member since 1983 and have spent a total of 18 years as a Cllr and 9 as an MP. I have never agreed with100% of Party Policy -only an unthinking clone could ever do so. Should I be expelled?

  • A fine man with a solid record of public service to his community who leaves behind a local party in fine fettle.

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