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Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone, who introduced same-sex marriage, loses her seat

Nick Duffy May 8, 2015

The Liberal Democrat minister responsible for introducing same-sex marriage has been unseated as an MP.

Mrs Featherstone, who successfully made the case for equal marriage while an equalities minister, had fought a knife-edge battle with Labour’s Catherine West for her Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

The politician was one of the strongest pro-LGBT voices in the previous Parliament, convincing a cross party coalition of MPs to back same-sex marriage – and single-mindedly pushing the issue enough to get it on the statute books.

The Lib Dem was named Ally of the Year at the PinkNews Awards in 2014, in recognition of her extraordinary achievements during her time in office.

After moving away from the equalities brief, the MP worked on a number of other issues – championing LGBT rights at the Department for International Development while waging a high profile campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM).

In 2010 she had held a 12-point majority over Labour – but despite local popularity her support collapsed following her party’s coalition with the Conservatives.

She achieved 18,359 votes – down from 25,595 (46.5%) in 2010. Catherine West achieved 29,572- up from previous Labour candidate Karen Jennings’ 18,720 votes (34%) in 2010.

The campaign has not been uncontroversial – with Mrs Featherstone threatening to complain to the police over “false” Labour leaflets she accuses of “smearing” her.

The leaflets claimed she was a Minister in the Home Office in 2013, when Theresa May attempted to tackle immigration with controversial ‘Go Home’ vans.

Mrs Featherstone was in fact a Minister in the Department for International Development at the time, and would not move to the Home Office until over a year later.

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