Harris speaks about defeat

Deafeated: Evan Harris

Deafeated: Evan Harris

First published in News

Liberal Democrat Evan Harris has spoken after losing his Oxford West and Abingdon seat.

Conservative Nicola Blackwood won the seat by 176 votes just after 4am.

Dr Harris, speaking on a televised BBC interview, said: "I lost by 176 votes. It wasn't comprehensive.

"It was a marginal seat. I accept a week ago we certainly were not expecting it to be that marginal."

Comments (13)

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8:56am Fri 7 May 10

gjfitz7 says...

I do wonder what makes these politicians tick when I hear Evan Harris claiming his seat was a marginal - he had a 7,700 majority at the 2005 election. I think his loss has more to do with a general swing to the Tory's and Evan Harris' record on expenses.

With a designated 2nd home in Westminster he claimed £6,600 in expenses to increase its value, before he sold it to his parents for £200,000 profit. for it.

In 2005, he also tried to get us, the tax payers, to pay an increase in his mortgage of £67,000 to extend the lease (thereby enhancing its value and repaying £27,000 borrowed from his parents). This was declined but he was allowed to increase the mortgage by £40,000 to extend the lease!

His expenses claims for mortgage interest went up from £519 to £781 a month. He also claimed the £1,050 legal fees and £881 surveyors’ bill on his expenses.

What does he really expect of us, the voters, with a record like that? I'm afraid his credibility is blown and I hope he doesn't try to stand again.
I do wonder what makes these politicians tick when I hear Evan Harris claiming his seat was a marginal - he had a 7,700 majority at the 2005 election. I think his loss has more to do with a general swing to the Tory's and Evan Harris' record on expenses. With a designated 2nd home in Westminster he claimed £6,600 in expenses to increase its value, before he sold it to his parents for £200,000 profit. for it. In 2005, he also tried to get us, the tax payers, to pay an increase in his mortgage of £67,000 to extend the lease (thereby enhancing its value and repaying £27,000 borrowed from his parents). This was declined but he was allowed to increase the mortgage by £40,000 to extend the lease! His expenses claims for mortgage interest went up from £519 to £781 a month. He also claimed the £1,050 legal fees and £881 surveyors’ bill on his expenses. What does he really expect of us, the voters, with a record like that? I'm afraid his credibility is blown and I hope he doesn't try to stand again. gjfitz7
  • Score: 0

9:29am Fri 7 May 10

Berty says...

It became marginal because of boundary changes.
He lost, so why the continued smear campaign? He did absolutely nothing wrong with expenses; in fact NO Lib Dems did, unlike the other two parties.
Talk about kicking a man when he's down.
It became marginal because of boundary changes. He lost, so why the continued smear campaign? He did absolutely nothing wrong with expenses; in fact NO Lib Dems did, unlike the other two parties. Talk about kicking a man when he's down. Berty
  • Score: 0

10:24am Fri 7 May 10

abingdonC says...

Nothing wrong with expenses, hopefully the new government will correct this. rein in ALL the MP expenses, and what they are allowed to claim. (succesful claims), I don't think it is a smear campaign, but a case of more people voting this election.
Nothing wrong with expenses, hopefully the new government will correct this. rein in ALL the MP expenses, and what they are allowed to claim. (succesful claims), I don't think it is a smear campaign, but a case of more people voting this election. abingdonC
  • Score: 0

10:53am Fri 7 May 10

Berty says...

I didn't mean the election campaign was a smear, but the comments from gifitz7 read like one.
I didn't mean the election campaign was a smear, but the comments from gifitz7 read like one. Berty
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Fri 7 May 10

Ellie the Bruce says...

Berty wrote:
I didn't mean the election campaign was a smear, but the comments from gifitz7 read like one.
Sorry but I can't agree - these are facts - you can't smear them. I think this is more an example of the frustration that voters in Oxfordshire are continuing to feel because of the expenses scandal. It has certainly made me consider the credibility of the candidates that wanted my vote yesterday.
[quote][p][bold]Berty[/bold] wrote: I didn't mean the election campaign was a smear, but the comments from gifitz7 read like one.[/p][/quote]Sorry but I can't agree - these are facts - you can't smear them. I think this is more an example of the frustration that voters in Oxfordshire are continuing to feel because of the expenses scandal. It has certainly made me consider the credibility of the candidates that wanted my vote yesterday. Ellie the Bruce
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Fri 7 May 10

wallingford1 says...

Lets hope whoever is in power from now on re-writes the rule book and stops the expenses scandals of the future. Yes it was within the rules, but how these people sleep at night is beyond me!
Lets hope whoever is in power from now on re-writes the rule book and stops the expenses scandals of the future. Yes it was within the rules, but how these people sleep at night is beyond me! wallingford1
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Fri 7 May 10

Berty says...

It IS a smear,as Evan Harris, and indeed the ALL of the Lib Dem MPS were found to have obeyed the rules. Stop kicking this man when he is down; the Tories won, and should do so with good grace!!

No matter how regrettfully you phrase it, this is out of line. Evan Harris has supported us in the Radley Lakes campaign. He has helped keep Abingdon Hospital open, which has saved mine and my mother's sanity, and gave such excellent care to my 92 yr old war veteran grandfather until he died.

From the age of 6 I supported Labour. I canvassed from my father's open-top mini for the late, loved Margaret McKenzie. I have such fond memories of playing in her beautiful garden. Labour and the Tories are indistinguishable in so many ways now, and I supported Evan because of the Lib Dem stance on Tony Blair's illegal war on Iraq and his loyal support for local issues.

PLEASE, just think about the personal losses Evan has never used as a way to get public sympathy. No matter what your political views, show a little dignity. He has served us well, and I am sad to see him go.
It IS a smear,as Evan Harris, and indeed the ALL of the Lib Dem MPS were found to have obeyed the rules. Stop kicking this man when he is down; the Tories won, and should do so with good grace!! No matter how regrettfully you phrase it, this is out of line. Evan Harris has supported us in the Radley Lakes campaign. He has helped keep Abingdon Hospital open, which has saved mine and my mother's sanity, and gave such excellent care to my 92 yr old war veteran grandfather until he died. From the age of 6 I supported Labour. I canvassed from my father's open-top mini for the late, loved Margaret McKenzie. I have such fond memories of playing in her beautiful garden. Labour and the Tories are indistinguishable in so many ways now, and I supported Evan because of the Lib Dem stance on Tony Blair's illegal war on Iraq and his loyal support for local issues. PLEASE, just think about the personal losses Evan has never used as a way to get public sympathy. No matter what your political views, show a little dignity. He has served us well, and I am sad to see him go. Berty
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Fri 7 May 10

Abingdon Neil says...

"before he sold it to his parents for £200,000 profit"

Think about that one for a minute.

If he sold his flat to his parents, then the Harris family are no better off overall. In fact, as he paid Capital Gains Tax, they are worse off.

It hasn't cost the taxpayer anything.
"before he sold it to his parents for £200,000 profit" Think about that one for a minute. If he sold his flat to his parents, then the Harris family are no better off overall. In fact, as he paid Capital Gains Tax, they are worse off. It hasn't cost the taxpayer anything. Abingdon Neil
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Sat 8 May 10

Albert P says...

They say "Its not over 'till the Fat Lady sings"

Well the Blond Lady has sung and its over for Harris.

Good riddance he had done nothing for ordinary people.
They say "Its not over 'till the Fat Lady sings" Well the Blond Lady has sung and its over for Harris. Good riddance he had done nothing for ordinary people. Albert P
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Sat 8 May 10

Berty says...

Albert, I think you're being unfair, truly. If Evan Harris hadn't been behind the campaign to save Abingdon Hospital I believe it would have gone by now.

What would you want him to do for the ordinary man? Make a list, and write to your new MP, see if she can do any better.
Albert, I think you're being unfair, truly. If Evan Harris hadn't been behind the campaign to save Abingdon Hospital I believe it would have gone by now. What would you want him to do for the ordinary man? Make a list, and write to your new MP, see if she can do any better. Berty
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Sun 9 May 10

carioca says...

cannot see how the Tories will make things better. Their MPs were amongst the worst expenses claims, moat, duck houses all tory claims. Don't forget it was THE party of sleaze. Don't think that this has changed with an air brushed image
cannot see how the Tories will make things better. Their MPs were amongst the worst expenses claims, moat, duck houses all tory claims. Don't forget it was THE party of sleaze. Don't think that this has changed with an air brushed image carioca
  • Score: 0

11:20am Mon 10 May 10

vjp says...

shame that Evan Harris lost by such a small margin. We have lost a good MP. In Drayton we are stuck with the Tories it will need a herculean effort to make everyone vote to get the Tories out. Lets see , what jobs and educational cuts Tories are going to make -- I don't see any working brains in Ed Vaizey, Osborne or Cameron-- wine and cheese boys .DO they have anyone who has the brains to tackle the financial crisis we are in? Is Osborne going to use a magic wand to generate the money????
shame that Evan Harris lost by such a small margin. We have lost a good MP. In Drayton we are stuck with the Tories it will need a herculean effort to make everyone vote to get the Tories out. Lets see , what jobs and educational cuts Tories are going to make -- I don't see any working brains in Ed Vaizey, Osborne or Cameron-- wine and cheese boys .DO they have anyone who has the brains to tackle the financial crisis we are in? Is Osborne going to use a magic wand to generate the money???? vjp
  • Score: 0

8:01am Tue 11 May 10

Berty says...

I was interested to see Ed Vaizey all over the news and chat-shows. I do have a problem with MPs who regularly turn up on shows such as The Wright Stuff on a weekday morning when to my mind they're being paid rather handsomely to represent the people who elected them, not exploit their position to launch a media career.
I was interested to see Ed Vaizey all over the news and chat-shows. I do have a problem with MPs who regularly turn up on shows such as The Wright Stuff on a weekday morning when to my mind they're being paid rather handsomely to represent the people who elected them, not exploit their position to launch a media career. Berty
  • Score: 0

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