Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg loses Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour
Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam in a huge blow for the Liberal Democrats.
Labour’s Jared O’Mara triumphed with a majority of 2,125 votes to secure a first ever victory for the party in the constituency, which Mr Clegg had represented since 2005.
Although the exit poll forecast the Liberal Democrats will increase their number of seats, Mr Clegg could not hold off a surge in Labour support in south Yorkshire.
But there was better news for the party In Twickenham, where Vince Cable comfortably defeated the Conservatives to retake his former seat with a big majority.
In his concession speech Mr Clegg warned that the UK had become “deeply divided and polarised” and urged MPs of all stripes to come together in the next Parliament.
"In my time in Parliament, I’ve never shirked from political battles, I’ve never retreated from the political battlefield, I’ve always sought to stand by the liberal values I believe in but I’ve encountered this evening…which is you live by the sword and you die by the sword.” he said.
Turning to the issue of the upcoming Parliament, the former Lib Dem leader added:
“It is a Parliament which in my judgement will not only face the excruciating task of trying to assemble a sensible government for this country will not only need to deal with the agonising decisions we face as a c as we navigate towards Brexit, but is a Parliament presiding over a deeply divided and polarised nation…between left and right, between different regions and nations, but most gravely of all this huge gulf now between young and old.
“My only plea would be that we will not pick our way through the very difficult times the Government faces if in the next Parliament MPs of all parties amplify what divides them. We must try to reach out to each other to try and find common ground if we are to heal those profound division because if we do not it is my judgement that our country will endure unprecedented hardship and difficulty in the years ahead.”