ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2003: Marek Tastes Victory at Expense of Former Party Colleagues

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Byline: Rhodri Clark

VICTORIOUS John Marek this morning (FRI) lashed out at the ``lies and smears'' his former party had used against him. In his acceptance speech Dr Marek pointedly omitted to thank his Labour rival and former assistant, Lesley Griffiths, while praising all the other candidates for a ``fair fight''. He outlined the approach he will take as the Assembly's first independent member.

``I will support any party proposal for the benefit of Wrexham and North Wales, whichever party it comes from,'' he said. Asked if he would help Labour form a coalition should it fall slightly short of a working majority, he replied, ``No. I will be looking at the policies and support any proposals for the benefit of Wrexham and North Wales and the whole of Wa

es . '' He accused the Labour party of a dirty campaign against him. ``The Labour party campaign was one of lies and smears. I did detect within Wrexham a wish to vote for an alternative to the established parties.

``The councillors in Wrexham embarked on a conspiracy of smears and lies to get me deselected by the narrowest of margins.

``The decision was should I roll over and go, or should I fight this disgraceful campaign. As it turned out, the public of Wrexham have supported me. …