Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sell-Outs Who'll Hit the Poorest; PARTING SHOT AS COUNCILLOR QUITS LIB DEMS FOR LABOUR

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sell-Outs Who'll Hit the Poorest; PARTING SHOT AS COUNCILLOR QUITS LIB DEMS FOR LABOUR

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN PEARSON

LIB-DEM leader Nick Clegg's call for conference unity was dealt a blow by a defection on Tyneside.

Gateshead councillor Yvonne McNicol has turned her back on the Lib Dems and joined the Labour party.

Coun McNicol, who has represented the Dunston Hill and Whickham East ward since 2004, today launched a stinging attack on her former party leaders.

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She has labelled senior Lib Dems gathered for the last day of their party conference today as sell outs who are more interested in getting a ministerial car then helping those most in need.

The mother-of-two has accused her party of acting against the interest of some of Tyneside's most deprived families.

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She said: "By acting as cover for the Tories as they savagely cut our public services, the Lib Dems have shown they are no longer concerned s about the people of the North East."

Coun McNicol, a legal secretary, is the first North East Lib Dem politician to switch to Labour since the coalition was formed in May.

It is thought others could follow next month as the Treasury prepares to announce the biggest spending cut in a generation.

Coun McNicol said she had seen too many changes in the last four months for her to stand by party leader Nick Clegg. "The Lib Dems are no longer the party I joined and stood as a councillor for.

"The coalition's budget proposals will hit the poorest in society the hardest. Gateshead has lost pounds 80m pounds of desperately needed investment in our schools as a direct result of Nick Clegg doing a deal with David Cameron. Whickham School, in my area, is a prime example of this.

"The Lib Dem leadership have abandoned their principles in exchange for a ministerial car."

Predictably Labour politicians have welcomed the move Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said: "Yvonne is a hard working local councillor who cares a great deal about her local community and the people she represents. …

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