Thank you for support in European elections

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who voted to re-elect me to the European Parliament.

I am delighted and you have my word I will continue to work tirelessly to represent your views and interests.

Of course the results overall were disappointing for my party but I am immensely proud of the campaign the Liberal Democrats fought. We stood up for what we truly believe in and made our argument unashamedly pro-European where others faltered and floundered.

However, the real losers of these elections are the British public because Britain’s voice is now weakened in the EU.

If the 24 Ukip MEPs do decide to turn up, which they do not have a track-record of doing, and if, as they say they will, they only vote ‘no’ on legislation regardless of whether it’s in Britain’s interests or not, will be unspoken.

Those seats should have gone to hard-working MEPs who would have put forward the British argument. Now many important decisions will be taken by other countries’ MEPs, in the interests of those countries.

The UK has the third largest number of MEPs and before we have had huge sway in EU policy; our new weakened status saddens me, as it will the businesses, trades, charities and those that recognise the benefits our EU membership brings.

Thankfully the South East has six other hard-working MEPs, who will do the work they have been elected to do and I look forward to getting stuck in with them in our next term.

I wanted to say once again how grateful I am to all those who helped get me re-elected and all those who voted for me. I will not let you down.

Catherine Bearder

MEP South East