Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey visited Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday to meet party supporters at their Eastern Region conference at the University of Suffolk.

And the former Energy Secretary slammed government policy which he blamed for the controversy that has blown up over plans for electricity transmission from offshore wind farms.

East Anglian Daily Times: Sir Ed Davey with leading Suffolk Liberal Democrats at the regional conference.Sir Ed Davey with leading Suffolk Liberal Democrats at the regional conference. (Image: Paul Geater)

He laid the blame for the controversy over new electricity stations near the Suffolk coast and the proposed line of pylons across the region firmly at the doors of the current government.

He was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the Coalition Government between 2012 and 2015 and said during his term of office he had been working on proposals to carry the power offshore.

He said: "I had been working on plans for a large junction at sea that would have brought the cables together and then carried it to where it was needed.

"But after 2015 those plans were shelved by the Conservatives to leave a free-for-all and that is why there are now all these separate proposals that are causing so much concern."

The Lib Dem's regional conference attracted party members from across East Anglia - and before 2015 the party had had MPs in most counties . . . except Suffolk.

But Sir Ed was confident that the next election would be very good for the party: "I think we are looking for one of our best results for many years.

"Voters are turning to us - we now control seven councils in the region and are part of the administration in another 15."

Sir Ed told the conference that the state of the Conservative Party and the fact that there wasn't the "fear factor" that voters had shown at the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government meant that the Liberal Democrats should be able to attract more voters.

He said: "Many Conservative voters are retired. I'm sure they will remember what we have heard from the Covid inquiry this week about ministers saying older Covid victims have had their time!

"We have had some poor results in recent elections - but we will be going into the next election with a real sense of optimism."