Changing of the Guard

13 May 2015

By Matt Oliver, Parliamentary Advocacy Officer for TB. Last Thursday evening saw one of the most remarkable elections the UK has ever had. As the nation went to the polls, few could have expected what was about to unfold. By 8am the following morning, 92 MPs had lost their seats, joining a further 90 who had previously indicated that they would be standing down. After many experts had heralded the end of ‘two party politics’, the Conservatives were returned to Westminster with a narrow majority. In years to come, this election will be one that people talk about. Not only will we discuss the surprise of the result itself - on a personal note I don’t think I will ever forget exactly where I was when the exit poll was unveiled – but also the dignity and grace shown in equal measure by the vanquished and the victorious. Amongst those who did not retain their seats were many RESULTS UK champions, people with whom we’ve worked over many years. On a personal note, the co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, Andrew George, was involved in the very last constituency to be announced. Like so many other Liberal Democrats, he lost his seat, ending ten years co-chairing the group. I will be very sorry to no longer work with him. Similarly, other long-time supporters stood down: Annette Brooke, the MP for Mid-Dorset and Poole and an education, TB and microfinance champion, decided not to stand again. As did David Blunkett and Peter Hain, education and disability, and TB champions respectively. They, and many others, made a great contribution to our work and we wish them the best with all their future endeavours. Of course, for every MP who loses another is victorious. Our task over the coming months and years is to build relationships with new MPs and to continue our successful association with champions who have returned to the Commons. The next year is critical for development, and for the issues that RESULTS UK works on, so we’ll be aiming to hit the ground running as soon as parliament returns. Finally, amidst all the election drama, do spare a thought for the staff of the MPs who have lost their seats. Whilst the MPs have to face their defeat publicly, four or five staff for each MP were also sacked by the electorate on Thursday night. At RESULTS UK we do a lot of work with MP’s staff, in fact, we couldn’t do our work without them. They are a hard-working, often unrecognised, group and without them our democracy would not function. So, if you’re reading this blog, and you’ve ever had contact with an MP’s office and staff, I urge you to send them a short message thanking them for their work and wishing them the best for the future, I’m sure it would be appreciated.

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Naveed Chaudhri

Head of Campaigns

Naveed Chaudhri is the Head of Campaigns. Naveed’s passion is to help build grassroots campaigns networks to increase public support for improving the lives of people in poor communities. Previously working at Oxfam and VSO, he has long experience managing activism and campaigning programmes,...

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RESULTS UK is a charity registered as RESULTS Education in England and Wales (1015286), a company limited by guarantee (2761858), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC041481).