Saturday, 25 April 2009

Congratulations Mrs Bruce..

Some very good news from Scotland yesterday with the successful election of a new Councillor to Aberdeenshire Council.

Now, this is for me more than just the usual party political "news". Rosemary Bruce is of course known these days as the wife of Malcolm Bruce but I knew her way back twelve years and more ago.

Back then, she was an aspiring young Liberal Democrat activist called Rosemary Vetterlein who lived in Beckenham and stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Beckenham in both the 1997 General Election and the following by-election. We held a fundraising barbecue at my parents' house and I remember her helping out behind the bar and with the raffle.

I was living in Carshalton by 1997 (having moved there the previous year) and worked for Tom Brake during that election (and for Andrew George, but that's another story). Rosemary had a tough fight in Beckenham which, while normally a safe Tory seat, was the constituency of Piers Merchant, whose reputation was in tatters following various allegations.

Merchant won by shy of 5,000 votes in May 1997 but further revelations forced his resignation as an MP. Labour thought they had a chance of winning the seat at a by-election and fought hard while there was an obvious fear of a squeeze on the Liberal Democrat vote.

Thanks to Rosemary's hard work, that didn't happen and the Liberal Democrat vote held firm.

I'm delighted she has finally won election to public office and wish her all the best.

No comments: