Coalition government: the local verdict

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Staff reporter

FOR the first time since the Second World War, the United Kingdom is now ruled by a coalition government cabinet, formed by an alliance of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs.

Thirteen years of Labour rule came to an end when Gordon Brown tendered his resignation as Prime Minister to the Queen.

The monarch then invited Conservative leader David Cameron to form a new government.

Leader reporters asked local politicians for their views.

Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside, said: “I am sure many Liberal Democrat voters will be appalled by the formation of this coalition.

“In Alyn and Deeside many people will suffer as a consequence of the arrival of David Cameron and George Osborne in Downing Street, but I will fight as hard as I can for this area’s interests.”

Mr Tami added his voice to the support for David Miliband, and said: “He is passionate about political reform and was inspired by Tony Benn, who was a family friend during his early years.

“David also took many brave stances as Foreign Secretary and was an outstanding Environment Secretary.”

He added: “He is a leader with convictions and vision. That’s why I am backing him.”

John Bell, who stood as Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Clwyd South, said: “I’m relieved that we now have a stable government, led by David Cameron, that can financially get to grips with the economic mess left behind by Labour.

“In the longer term we can reform our educational, health and welfare services.

“Obviously under the current economic climate the absolute priority is a stable government.”

Speaking about how the coalition was working together, Mr Bell said: “It does seem all those involved have conducted themselves in a sensible and grown-up fashion.

“This is not the time to play petty party politics but to put the future of the country at the forefront of what they’re doing.”

Delyn MP David Hanson said: “I am obviously disappointed with the Liberal Democrat decision to form a coalition with the Tories. Labour wanted to do a deal with the Liberal Democrats.

“I will be supporting David Miliband for new Labour leader as I feel he has the skills and experience required for the job.”

Hope Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Newhouse, who is part of a ruling coalition with Conservatives in Flintshire, said: “It is morally correct to be joining with the party that gained the most votes and the most seats in last week’s election.

“There has been compromise on both sides and to now have a firm timetable to raise the tax-free threshold to £10,000 and to have new green industries driving jobs growth is fantastic.”

Brynford Conservative councillor Matt Wright, who fought for the Vale of Clwyd parliamentary seat last week, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see the Tory party back in Number 10 after 13 years.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge with lots to sort out, particularly with the economy. We now need to look after the vulnerable. We need to co-operate in a sensible and efficient way.”

Ex-city councillor Gwyn Cooper, former secretary of Chester Constituency Labour Party, said: “I think the Labour Party was right to stay on their own and resist approaches from the Lib Dems.

“Labour should form a cohesive and effective opposition on their own under a new leader.”

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said he was “very disappointed” but “not surprised” about the coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

He said:”The Lib Dems will do anything to get power and have chosen to prop up a Conservative Government.

“I fear this will have a big impact on the economy at a time when we are just coming out of the recession.”

Speaking about possible leaders for the Labour party, Mr Lucas added: “I think we have got a very strong selection of candidates.

“We need a new generation of candidates and I think we have that.

“Strong contenders are Ed Miliband, David Miliband, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls.”

Newly-elected Clywd South MP Susan Elan Jones said: “I think it was a very dignified departure by Gordon Brown.

“I’m also amazed that the Lib Dems have chosen to go with the Tories for so little return. It will not be satisfactory to many Liberal Democrat supporters, especially long-standing supporters in Wales.”

Chester Conservative MP Stephen Mosley said: “I am delighted that David Cameron has offered Nick Clegg and his team to join a coalition. Much more unites us than ever divided us. In Cheshire and across North Wales all Conservative MPs are keen to start to work, keen to fulfil their election commitments and keen to start rebuilding Britain with a new and stable government.”

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