Sir Ed Davey ‘so moved’ by reaction to care campaign

Sir Ed Davey has been “so moved” by the reaction to the Liberal Democrats’ General Election campaign on care and carers, he said in a statement.

Ahead of polling day on Thursday, the party leader said he is “proud” of a campaign trail which he said had “brought care out of the shadows”.

Among a series of manifesto pledges on, the Liberal Democrats have called for free personal care in England, a £2 an hour minimum wage boost for carers, and a cross-party commission to “forge a long-term agreement on sustainable funding for social care”.

Sir Ed has also spoken in a widely-shared party election broadcast about his own caring responsibilities, for his son John and previously for his mother Nina, who died of cancer when he was aged 15.

Sir Ed Davey tries to stand up on a surf board - but doesn't quite make it
Sir Ed Davey on one of his campaign stunts – a surf lesson in Bude, Cornwall (Matt Keeble/PA)

In his statement, the party leader said: “I’ve been a carer for much of my life, so I know how tough caring for a loved one can be but also how rewarding it is.

“Throughout this campaign, I’ve been so moved by all the people I’ve spoken to or who have got in touch to discuss their experiences caring for loved ones.

“There are millions of people around the country making big sacrifices, from the teenager looking after their ill mother to the parents caring for their disabled child.

“I am so proud that the Liberal Democrat campaign has brought care out of the shadows and into the light.

“We know that fixing care is essential to fixing the NHS. This election is a chance to build a caring nation, where we fix the social care crisis and give family carers the support they need.

“In many areas across the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and deliver the change people are crying out for.

“Every Liberal Democrat MP elected will fight every day for care and carers, and to rescue their local health and care services.”

Sir Ed Davey smiles as he speeds down the Ultimate Slip n Slide attraction near Frome, Somerset in a rubber ring
Sir Ed Davey speeds down the Ultimate Slip n Slide attraction near Frome, Somerset (Rod Minchin/PA)

The Liberal Democrats’ stunt-packed campaign has featured Sir Ed taking part a visit to Thorpe Park in Surrey, paddleboarding in Windermere in the Lake District, surfing in Bude, Cornwall and speeding down the Ultimate Slip n Slide near Frome, Somerset.

The party leader, who served as a postal affairs minister in the coalition government between 2010 and 2012, faced criticism from Lee Castleton, who was made bankrupt after he lost a legal battle with the Post Office.

Mr Castleton accused him of “buffoonery” and added: “I find it very Boris-esque and I don’t think there’s any need for it.”

Sir Ed spoke about carers at his party’s manifesto launch in June and said: “I hear the same thing from them – all of their stories are very different yet in so many ways they are also the same.”

In his party’s election broadcast, he said: “It’s a tough job, caring, but family carers do the vast bulk of caring.

“Governments have just ignored them, just not listened to them.”