THE Liberal Democrats lost the Bradford East seat to Labour by a large 7,000 majority.

David Ward, who had been defending the seat, did not even appear on the podium as Imran Hussain's comfortable victory for Labour was revealed.

To cheers from his supporters, Cllr Hussain gave a victory speech saying the people of Bradford East had rejected the Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

He said: "We have seen young people in particular, from Eccleshill to Little Horton, become involved in this campaign, and the reason so many people have become involved in this campaign is for the past five years we have had a government that has failed and hurt the people of Bradford."

Cllr Hussain, a barrister and the deputy leader of Bradford Council, railed against the cuts Bradford Council in particular had suffered, saying wealthier authorities in other parts of the country had seen their funding increase.

He pledged to fight for the NHS, schools and the "hardworking families of Bradford".

He said: "My final promise is this: throughout this campaign I have maintained that it is not Westminster that is sending me to Bradford East, it's the people of Bradford East sending me to Westminster."

Mr Ward had been at the count at Richard Dunn earlier in the morning, but had refused to give any interviews to the media until the results were announced. Then when the candidates were invited up onto the platform to hear the results, it appeared Mr Ward had left the building.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Cllr Hussain said he thought this was "bad sportsmanship" on Mr Ward's part, but declined to comment further.

Later yesterday, Mr Ward reflected that the Lib Dems had been put in a difficult position.

He said as pre-election campaigning had been taking place, people had been asking on the doorstep why the Lib Dems had "betrayed" their policies by working with the Conservatives. Meanwhile, others had asked why politicians did not work together more.

On a positive note, Mr Ward pointed to a number of achievements in the last Parliament.

He said: "In the five years we've had sharing power, there are 1,500 fewer unemployed in Bradford East, nearly £90m extra in funding for schools through the Pupil Premium with free school meals for nursery children and even sixth form pupils; the average person is £800 a year better off and pensioners have had five good years.

"All these were Liberal-Democrat initiatives. Was it worth what happened to us on Thursday? Yes it was. With less than ten per cent of the members of the House of Commons we got 80 per cent of our manifesto promises through."