Warren Bradley has vowed to regain control of Liverpool Council for the Liberal Democrats, as he believes the current administration is making "an absolute hash" of running the city.
Councillor Bradley, who saw his party lose its grip on the council to Labour at the May 2010 elections, told JMU Journalism he stayed on as leader of the Lib Dems after the election defeat just over six months ago as he feels he has unfinished business in the city.
However, at a national level, he admitted he was shocked that his party decided to enter a power-sharing agreement with the Conservatives in the coalition Government.
In an exclusive interview, Cllr Bradley said: “I was leader for five years and probably was leader during the most successful time of Liverpool history. There can be absolutely no doubt that under my leadership Liverpool changed.
"It would have been easy for me after the May election to walk away
but I was approached by people across the city who said 'don’t give
up, you will be back'. I believe it because I think the leadership in the
city is making an absolute hash of it.”
Cllr Bradley, who describes himself as a centre-left politician,
admitted that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's decision for his party to
join forces with the Tories was something of a surprise.
He said: “I am a trade unionist. I was a little bit shocked when we
went into coalition with the Conservatives. That said, the Labour
party did sprint into opposition because they knew the mess the
country was in financially.
"It was a tough decision for Lib Dem parliamentarians. It is so easy
to sit on the outside and fire bullets in and be critical, but this country
was in an absolute mess. What the country needed at that moment in time was for the three main political parties to come together in a coalition to sort the finance of the country out and put political point-scoring to one side.”
If that had happened, Cllr Bradley feels that would have changed the face of modern politics. “That single decision for the Labour, Tory and Lib Dems to make a government would have got people more interested in politics and would have made people feel completely different about politicians,” he said.
Cllr Bradley conceded that the Government's controversial decision to allow university tuition fees to rise as high as £9,000 was not one he endorsed. He said: “It’s not ideal. I don’t agree with tuition fees, I never had to pay for tuition fees. I have always campaigned against it.”
EXCLUSIVE by Helen Dodd
More JMU Journalism stories
Councillor Warren Bradley lost his position as Leader of Liverpool City Council in the May 2010 elections
© Trinity Mirror
© Trinity Mirror