Hung parliament means uncertainty for social care

Care services minister Phil Hope has lost his seat in the election and children's secretary Ed Balls secured a narrow victory as a hung parliament creates uncertainty for social care.

Care services minister Phil Hope has lost his seat in the election and children’s secretary Ed Balls secured a narrow victory as a hung parliament creates uncertainty for social care.

Phil Hope’s 18-month stint as care services minister came to an end as he lost his seat in Corby to novelist and Conservative candidate Louise Bagshawe on a 3.4% swing.

Hope, who has held the seat since 1997, lost by almost 2,000 votes.

The Conservatives had hoped to scure a “Portillo moment” by unseating Ed Balls: a reference to the defeat of Michael Portillo in 1997, whose stunned surprised symbolised the extent of Tories loses.

In the event, Ed Balls polled 18,365 votes while Antony Calvert for the Conservatives polled 17,264.

Health secretary Andy Burnham comfortably retained his seat in Leigh, Lancashire, while his Conservative and Liberal Democrat shadows Andrew Lansley (Cambridgeshire South) and Norman Lamb (Norfolk North) were also re-elected.

Shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien also kept his seat in Eddisbury, Cheshire.

In a surprise result, renowned social care campaigner, the Liberal Democrat, Paul Burstow held on to his Sutton and Cheam constituency in London.

His Conservative challenge Philippa Stroud, executive director of Tory-leaning think tank the Centre for Social Justice, fell 1600 votes short of unseating him.

But there was defeat for former Labour care minister Stephen Ladyman who lost the Thanet South constituency to the Conservatives.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman, former chair of the children, schools and families select committee, has been re-elected to the Huddersfield seat in Parliament for the eighth consecutive time. If voted in to maintain his chairmanship of the select committee, Sheerman plans to launch an enquiry into Ofsted regarding its inspections system and conduct in the Sharon Shoesmith case.

Shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families Michael Gove was victorious in Surrey Heath last night, reportedly increasing his majority in the area by more than 5,000 votes.

Shadow children’s minister Tim Loughton held onto his seat in Worthing East and Shoreham with a majority of more than 11,000.

Liberal Democrat Ann Haigh, chair of guardians’ professional association Nagalro, lost to Conservative MP Eleanor Laing in Epping Forest, Essex. Laing was re-elected by a majority of more than 15,000 votes, despite being embroiled in the expenses scandal last year.

The Tories failed to win Hammersmith from Labour in west London where Shaun Bailey, the founder of the social care charity My Generation  was standing.

Lisa Nandy, policy adviser at The Children’s Society, won Wigan for Labour.

Kate Green, former chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, won Stretford and Urmston, the seat held previously by ex-children’s minister Beverley Hughes.

In an open letter to the new prime minister, social worker Geoff Ettridge called on the new government to get back to the basics of social care.

Related articles

A hung parliament, what now? Join the debate on CareSpace

New government must prioritise social care reforms

The Sun’s Deidre Sanders warns against social work cuts


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.