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Quinn loses seat as voters shun civil engineers


CIVIL ENGINEERING suffered a major blow to its efforts to influence central government last week as one its most influential figures lost his parliamentary seat in the General Election.

Lawrie Quinn, civil engineer and MP for Scarborough & Whitby since 1997, lost his seat by just 1,245 votes to Conservative Robert Goodwill.

And former Construction minister Nick Raynsford gave up his post as local and regional government minister during the post election reshuffle.

He was reported to have withdrawn to the back benches after Tony Blair refused to keep him in his post.

The Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE) and the ICE expressed their disappointment at Quinn's failure to retain his seat.

'Lawrie's eight years of support has been invaluable, ' said ICE president Colin Clinton.

'MPs are one of the key audiences we want to influence.

But I don't believe that Lawrie will give up on his commitment to civil engineering and I am sure that he will still be of huge value to us in the future.' ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin said 'Our profession has lost an enthusiastic advocate and he'll be missed.

Losing him from parliament highlights the need for the profession to redouble its efforts to ensure that it has a more infl ential voice with decision makers, ' he said.

Only one of the 14 civil engineers standing in the General Election won their seat. He was Scottish National Party candidate for the Western Isles and former civil engineer Angus MacNeil.

ICE Fellow and former Liberal Democrat MP David Chidgey stood down at the election, but should retain an influence as he was expected be given a peerage later this week.

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