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Liberal Democrats celebrate European election breakthrough

Labour and Conservative votes collapse across the capital

Liberal Democrat campaigners in London and across the country were celebrating this week as

the party enjoyed a surge in public support, electing 3 MEPs in London for the first time ever

and making large gains across the country. The election was widely viewed as a final chance

for voters to make their voice heard on the handling of Brexit by the government and

opposition, with both Labour and the Tories being punished for failing to have a clear position.

In Tower Hamlets, the Liberal Democrats jumped by 20% to secure a strong second place

behind Labour on 25% of votes overall. Across London as a whole, they topped the poll with

27% of the vote, pushing Labour into second place with the Brexit party trailing in third and the

Conservatives crashing to fifth place behind the Greens.

Labour won 14% of the vote nationally, their worst performance in over a century.

Councillor Rabina Khan, who was also selected as a London MEP candidate said:

“Seeing the result today shows that the political momentum and the support of the people is

building behind the Liberal Democrats. Here in Tower Hamlets we are now the clear opposition

to the Labour administration and the strongest Remain voice for local residents.”

Elaine Bagshaw, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“People’s trust in Labour and the Tories has evaporated. On the biggest issue of our time, it

has become hard to tell them apart: my local Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick even went against his

own party and voted for May’s disastrous deal. A change of Prime Minister, Tory or Labour,

won’t get us out of this mess – we need to demand better.”

Siobhan Benita, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London said:

“This is a stunning result for the Liberal Democrats in London and a fantastic springboard for

my campaign to be London’s next mayor. It’s clear that the Conservatives are irrelevant in the

capital and Labour’s Sadiq Khan is beatable. The Liberal Democrats are now the natural choice

for Londoners. It’s very much game on for London 2020.”

Lawyer and civil rights activist Irina von Wiese was elected as the party’s lead MEP candidate

along with Ebookers founder Dinesh Dhamija and local Camden Councillor Luisa Porritt.

During the election, several high-profile representatives of the largest parties publicly endorsed

the Liberal Democrat campaign. Labour Lord Michael Cashman resigned from his party,

praising the Lib Dems’ “absolute consistency” in their fight against Brexit and saying he

couldn’t trust Jeremy Corbyn and his team. Tory peer Michael Heseltine also faced suspension

for backing the Lib Dems over the Conservatives.

The party dominated the polls in the South West of London where they have sitting MPs, but

also came first in several inner London boroughs, including Jeremy Corbyn’s home borough of

Islington as well as Camden, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton,

Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster.