Express & Star

Ed Davey: Tories ‘running scared’ of Liberal Democrats in target seats

The Liberal Democrat leader was optimistic about his party’s prospects when he visited Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Friday.

Last updated
Ed Davey eating an ice cream

Sir Ed Davey has said the Conservatives are “running scared” of the Liberal Democrats as he hit the campaign trail in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

The party leader said news that Wokingham MP John Redwood will not be standing in the General Election is a sign that the Tories “know we’re going to win”.

He said: “The thing is, the Conservatives are running scared of us, the news today that John Redwood isn’t prepared to stand and be held accountable in Wokingham.

“I think it’s a sign that he and the Conservatives know that we’re going to win in Wokingham, just as we’re gonna win here in Eastbourne, so we’re very, very excited about this election.”

General Election campaign 2024
Sir Ed Davey, right, with Lib Dem candidate for the Eastbourne constituency, Josh Babarinde (Aaron Chown/PA)

Sir John, who was first elected in Wokingham in 1987, wrote a blog post on his decision saying: “I have other things I wish to do.”

Eastbourne is one of the target Blue Wall seats the Lib Dems are targeting, where the party came second behind Conservative MP Caroline Ansell by more than 4,000 votes in 2019.

Sir Ed was joined by supporters at Eastbourne Pier before he made, and ate, ice cream strolling down the promenade with Josh Babarinde, the Lib Dem candidate for the coastal constituency.

Speaking in the seaside town, Sir Ed said: “Everybody knows now that if you want to beat the Conservatives, you vote Liberal Democrat.

“We are determined to beat as many Conservative MPs as we possibly can.”

On the campaign trail, Sir Ed also announced plans to give patients a right to see a GP in seven days.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey speaks to the media on the promenade in Eastbourne while on the General Election campaign trail
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey speaks to the media on the promenade in Eastbourne while on the General Election campaign trail (Aaron Chown/PA)

The party boss said: “So many people tell us they can’t get a GP appointment in the time they want.

“They’re having to wait days and weeks in some cases.

“We’re so excited that we’re coming forward with new ideas about how we can transform our health system that will really help people struggling at the moment.”

Sir Ed said the party would first recruit 8,000 GPs to create a workforce that could carry out that number of appointments.

“That would take the next parliament to do that, you can’t do (that) overnight especially to train more people and encourage people to stay, retain, persuading people to come back and make the GP life the one that people want to be involved in,” he told PA news agency.

“And if we do that, we’d be able to say to people and get a legal right, that people could see a GP within seven days or within 24 hours if it was an emergency.

“That will transform healthcare for many people in many communities.”

The former minister also ruled out election pacts and any cooperation with the Conservative party for a future coalition government.

He said: “This election is about getting rid of the Conservative government.

“And now we have the chance for change and the Liberal Democrats are going to really go for this in this election.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.