Jonathan Werran 08 May 2015

Lib Dem local government minister and Labour shadow lose seats

Local government ministers and their shadows suffered opposed fortunes in last night’s tumultuous general election result.

Liberal Democrat local government minister Stephen Williams lost his Bristol West constituency to his Labour opponent Thangam Debbonaire and was beaten into third by his Green Party challenger Darren Hall.

Elsewhere, shadow local government minister, Andy Sawford (pictured) failed in his bid to retain the Corby for Labour.

Mr Sawford, the former chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit, won the seat for Labour after Louise Mensch, a star figure from the Conservative Party’s 2010 intake, stepped down to spend more time with her family in New York and her new husband Peter Mensch - manager of major global rock acts Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

His Conservative opponent, Tom Pursglove, ousted Mr Sawford wining Corby with 24,023 votes and securing a 2,412 majority.

By contrast Conservative local government ministers in marginal seats fared better.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis who faced a stiff challenge from an insurgent UKIP in Great Yarmouth and local government minister Kris Hopkins in the Yorkshire constituency of Keighley, both managed to hold on to their seats.

Welfare minister Esther McVey, who was once widely tipped as a replacement for communities secretary Eric Pickles, lost her Wirral West seat in a bitterly-fought contest.

Mr Pickles retained his seat of Brentwood and Ongar securing 59% of the votes cast.

Cities minister Greg Clark, touted as a possible replacement as communities secretary, comfortably retained his Tunbridge Wells seat.

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