Labour supporters in Eastleigh, who may have voted Lib Dem tactically in the past, have been urged by a senior Liberal Democrat to support Mike Thornton in the forthcoming General Election,
The Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb was visiting Eastleigh’s Community Mental Health Team at Desborough House when he made the comments.
Lamb who was accompanied by Mike Thornton on the visit, was asked by Eastleigh News what he had to say to Labour supporters who would have been disappointed that the Lib Dems had formed a coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 after pledging to “Keep the Tories out”.
Lamb, who is widely tipped as a successor to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, responded:
“The fact that we have gone into coalition with the conservatives was in the national interest to get the country through a very difficult period.
It doesn’t make us conservatives, we have very strong values”.
Lamb said a majority Conservative government “would drift to the right” and described Mike Thornton as a ‘brilliant local MP”.
Addressing those who might be considering voting Green as an alternative to the Lib Dems he urged “Don’t be tempted by easy offers” adding that the choice on May 7 was
“between a Conservative or Mike Thornton, a brilliant local MP who will pursue a Green agenda.
Mike Thornton told Eastleigh News that Eastleigh’s Lib Dem controlled Council was one of the “greenest boroughs in the county” and it’s recycling record was “better than the Green controlled authority in Brighton”.
“If you want Green, vote Lib Dem” said the MP.
Lamb and Thornton spent some 40 minutes at Desborough House chatting to patients and staff.
Afterwards Norman Lamb said:
“I’m just very impressed by the work they are doing here, it’s really exciting”.
Mike Thornton also praised the staff saying:
“They work extremely hard to improve mental health throughout the region.
“We are reaching a point where people understand that mental health has to be given the same importance as physical health and the staff here, in conjunction with Solent Mind and Hampshire County Council, are working hard to ensure that mental health patients aren’t treated any differently, because when you’re ill – your’e ill”.