Schools minister David Laws was one of a number of senior Liberal Democrats who lost their seat in a “cruel and punishing” night for his party.
Mr Laws was ousted from his Yeovil seat by Conservative Marcus Fysh who won with a 9.3 per cent majority.
Laws was 1/4 on to defend his 13,000 majority. But he polled 18,865 votes compared to Fysh’s 24,178, as the Lib Dems lost their former South West strongholds.
Other big name casualties included chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander and business minister Vince Cable.
Party leader Nick Clegg called the night “cruel and punishing” and is expected to stand down later today.
Laws seemed to be well respected in the world of education and his loss was greeted with a tinge of sadness.
Education committee chair Graham Stuart said:
@Samfr A Rolls Royce mind coupled with phenomenal work ethic. Education's loss.
— Graham Stuart MP #StayHomeSaveLives (@grahamstuart) May 8, 2015
Founder and CEO of TeachFirst, Brett Wigdortz had this to say:
Not for political reasons, but just because he's a good guy who cares about education, I feel a bit sad David Laws is out
— Brett Wigdortz (@Wigdortz) May 8, 2015
Sam Freedman, former SpAd to Michael Gove, added:
Sad if David Laws loses his seat. He's been a good schools minister.
— Sam Freedman (@Samfr) May 8, 2015
Chris Tweedale, CEO of the CfBT Schools Trust, also tweeted: “David Laws was a good Minister who understood his brief extremely well. That’s politics though!”