Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What the defeated Lib Dem MPs are doing now



Total Politics has caught up with the career moves of some of the Liberal Democrat MPs who lost their seats in May.

David Laws is now executive chairman of the think tank CentreForum and Steve Webb is now director of policy and external communications at Royal London, the mutual insurance and pensions company.

Other MPs have relaunched themselves as consultants. Total Politics lists Jeremy Browne (who stood down before the election) among them, but a recent report in City AM had him working as a lobbyist for the City of London in Brussels.

I once blogged about the fate of defeated MPs:
The plight of former MPs is not one to attract public sympathy, but they can have a hard time. In a Guardian article in 2004 Michael White quoted Joe Ashton: 
"It's not like losing your job in a factory, when everyone loses their job and rallies round. You may be living in a rural area, no contacts, no way to keep in touch. You can be lonely and isolated, your kids may be slagged off at school or even taken out of private school if you're a Tory. If you claim benefit the local paper gets to hear about it." 
And White went on to say: 
When Labour was defeated in 1979, 38 ex-MPs had not found a job after a year. In 1997 it was the Tories' turn: 126 lost their seats. Familiar stories of depression and drink, debt and divorce, began circulating.
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceToday you can find the Association of Former MPs on the Politics Home website.

2 comments:

Huw Jones said...

I have great sympathy with anyone who loses their job, and as politics tends to encroach on every minute of an MPs life the loss of their seat must be extremely difficult to deal with. Thank goodness that in our party "anyone good enough to be an MP is good enough to be a Minister in any other party" That means that ex Lib Dem MPs are very likely to find more employement.
However just because they are good enough to get a job does not always mean that a suitable job is available to them, and some will suffer. Some will deal with this situation better than others.
I note, as the parent of a child with learning difficulties, that parents in the same position who have had to battle through life, cope with the problems associated with the birth of a "handicapped" child, far better than those who have lead a charmed life, sailing through school and University straight into a a high profile and well paid job. Mental illness, alcoholism and divorce often follow this devastating change in their lives.
As a party represented by many very successful MPs I wonder if we take their welfare after losing their seats seriously enough? DO we (or other parties) offer pots defeat training? DO we actively monitor their well being after defeat?

Anonymous said...

Based on recent circumstantial evidence it would appear not. However, it is not for the want of trying unlike for some other parties' ministers.