Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Lib Dem and Labour street fight over Police cuts

Yesterday was the start of the local elections campaign here in London and the fight is already getting dirty.

One such scrap is taking place in ultra marginal Waltham Forest where the Lib Dems are furious at "Labour's lies" about police numbers.

Labour leaflets claim that the Lib Dems "want to cut the number of police in Waltham Forest" whilst being "in cahoots with Tory mayor Boris plans to cut police numbers."

The Lib Dems deny this, pointing to their fervent opposition to Boris's police cuts on the London Asssembly.

They also point to their cross party campaign to get more police officers in the borough, repeatedly acknowledged by the Labour Council leader himself:

One Lib Dem source told me:

"This is now the incredible fibs Labour are peddling on the ground. It is a fact that the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group voted against Boris Johnson's cuts in police numbers. The group's budget amendment not only proposed to reverse the cut in police numbers (455 officers over the next 3 years), but actually proposed extra police officers in certain key boroughs where there are high levels of gun and knife crime - that included Waltham Forest, where this leaflet is going out... The leaflet is not spin, but lies."

A spokesperson for Waltham Forest Lib Dems said:

"The Lib Dems voted in favour of (indeed helped to put together) the council budget which funds the ten extra police officers which Labour is trying to claim credit for. It seems Labour is desperately trying to rebrand a council campaign backed by all three political parties as one of their own, and turning history on its head to do so."

I emailed Waltham Forest Labour party for an explanation of their claims yesterday, but unfortunately they have as yet failed to respond.

So can anyone out there get to the bottom of this fight?

Is this just a bad case of spin, or outright lies?


Anonymous said...

Even if the Lib Dems did oppose the 120 extra police officers it wouldn't be a "cut" because there's no plans for 120 more officers anyway. All it is is a hopeless begging bowl campaign to Boris, who as we know has no intention of increasing police officers anywhere.

Anonymous said...

That old phrase about those in glass houses comes to mind. I'm not sure the Libel Democrats have a leg to stand on when it comes to telling the truth


AdamB said...

Like I said, it's going to be a dirty campaign...

Rog T said...

Hey Adam, don't you just love anonymous comments like these?

AdamB said...

I've thought long and hard about whether to allow anonymous comments on here. On balance I think it's a lesser evil, although known sockpuppets are of course not tolerated.

Anonymous said...

more evidence of what Labour are really like when they get desperate


Carl said...

THE Liberal Democrat local election campaign is in disarray after it emerged that three senior councillors, including the council’s deputy leader, have been ditched by the party.

Hopes that the Lib Dems, who currently run the council in coalition with Labour, could become the biggest party look to be in ruins after the party confirmed leader John Macklin, cabinet member for environment Bob Belam and chief whip Bob Carey will not stand for the party on May 6.

A party spokesman admitted the move was the result of an internal dispute, but did not provide any further detail.

But the Guardian understands the party’s decision to ditch the three followed a bitter row over an attempt by members sitting on the Walthamstow executive to de-select Cllr Carey, who represents Chapel End ward with Cllrs Macklin and Belam.

Cllr Macklin admitted there has been concern about the executive’s candidate selection for some time.

He said: “There has been a dispute about issues around candidates selected in several wards, including Chapel End.

“There has been concern about inappropriate candidates being selected for target level seats.

“The issue has been going on for several months and I don't think it is something that has been completely resolved.

“Myself, Bob Carey and Bob Belam are the best people to represent Chapel End ward because we have worked the area for years and have listened and acted on residents' complaints.”

Cllr Macklin said he was “bitterly disappointed” that he was having to talk in public about the row and conceded it is “not good” for the party.

He added that he had not decided whether to stand as an independent.

A spokesman for the Lib Dem London region party said: "The local and regional executive have agreed the conclusion of internal mediation and no members have been suspended.”

The Walthamstow Executive is made up of members and activists including Cllr Johar Khan, Cllr Bob Wheatley and Walthamstow parliamentary candidate Farid Ahmed.