Davey vows to deliver change under the Lib Dems as election campaigning begins

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey vowed his party would win seats from the Conservatives as he promised he would deliver the change the country desperately needs.

Sir Ed was in the ultra-marginal seat of Cheltenham for the first full day of campaigning after Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4.

The Cheltenham seat is held by Justice Secretary Alex Chalk who secured a majority of just 981 votes over Liberal Democrat opponent Max Wilkinson at the last election.

The Lib Dems, who held the seat from 1992 to 2015, could win the seat back this time and hope to build on a series of eye-catching by-election successes.

“But with this election we have the chance to win the change the country so desperately needs.

“As I go around the country, I might meet people who are working really hard, they’re raising their families, they’re caring for their loved ones, they’re doing everything right, playing by the rules.

“But they’re finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.

“The people seeing their bills go up, pensioners and families seeing rocketing food bills, energy bills, rent and mortgages.

“The Conservatives have just made it worse.

“The NHS is on its knees under the Conservatives. They promised to build lots of hospitals, and they have not delivered and people are waiting hours just for an ambulance, they’re waiting weeks for a GP appointment and months for urgent cancer treatment.

Opinion polls since 2019 general election
(PA Graphics)

“It really is time for change. And that means the Conservatives have to go.

“Across the country we’ve seen so many parts of the country where it’s a vote for the Liberal Democrats that will get rid of the Conservative MP.

“There’s a real chance in this election if people vote, they will get that change.

“But it’s not just a change of Government, we need to transform our politics.

“Our politics is broken. If you can transform it that unlocks the chance to fix our health and care system, to get our economy back on track, to end the scandal of sewage, to get the fair deal that people so, so deserve.

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a local champion who’s going to fight for you, your family and your community – for that fair deal.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey on the campaign trail
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey on the campaign trail (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“A fair deal when everyone can access high quality healthcare they need when they need it, where they need it.

“That’s the fair deal that the Liberal Democrats are fighting for. So come and join us and help make it happen.”

The Liberal Democrats will be targeting 80 seats where they are in second place to the Conservative Party ahead of the General Election.

The party’s deputy leader, Daisy Cooper, also ruled out doing a deal with the Conservatives.

She told Sky News: “We have ruled out doing any deal whatsoever with this Conservative Government because it is really quite clear that there are lifelong Conservative voters who can no longer stomach voting for this Conservative Party, they simply don’t recognise it anymore.

“The fact of the matter is though that we have got the race of our life on our hands. This is the campaign of a lifetime, and we’ll be fighting every single second of every single day to win the trust and support of voters and we won’t let up until 10pm on polling day.”

On whether the party has ruled out a deal with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, she said: “We’re not thinking about what happens the day after the polling day, we’re determined to win over the trust and support of as many voters as possible between now and 10pm on polling day.”

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