‘What happens to my son when I’m gone?’ asks Lib Dem leader and carer Ed Davey in emotional interview

An emotional Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has spoken out about his experience caring for his teenage son, John, who is reported to have an undiagnosed neurological condition.

Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats
Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats

This comes as the Liberal Democrats emphasise once again their commitment to “free personal care” at home for those who need it across the UK, a system which the party believes would improve outcomes for service-users and also save the NHS billions.

Discussing the nature of the round-the-clock care required by his 16-year-old son, Davey told ITV: “My day tends to start with getting him out of bed, taking him to the toilet, taking his nappy off to give him a shower and cleaning his teeth. We massage him every day keep his limbs supple.”

The Liberal Democrat leader revealed on X (formerly Twitter) that his son has “severe physical and learning disabilities”.

He continued: “He’ll wake often between 5:30 and 6 o’clock, and shout out for his daddy, so his daddy has to get up.”

Discussing his son’s disabilities, he revealed: “He first said ‘daddy’ when he was eight or nine, and that was one of the most amazing days of my life.”

As well as caring for his teenage son, Davey lost his father when he was four, while he later cared for his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer when he was a teenager. Meanwhile, his wife has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which the MP says affects her ability to care for their son in some ways.

“One of my biggest fears in life,” the politician told ITV, with tears in his eyes, “is what happens to [my son] when I’m gone.

“I reflect on what my mother thought, leaving your children early. I worry about who’s going to look after him.

“No one’s going to love him and hold him like I and my wife [do]. I’m sure all parents think like that in some way, but when you’ve got a child who’s vulnerable, with special needs, it’s particularly pertinent.

“I don’t want to get serious about the politics, but I do think caring and carers are something that I have a duty to stand up for and talk about.”

Social care is an issue the Lib Dems have placed at the heart of their 2024 campaign, ahead of the General Election next month, while Labour and the Conservatives have said little about the subject.

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