Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Labour Leader Pledges to Wipe out the Liberal Dems in Newcastle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Labour Leader Pledges to Wipe out the Liberal Dems in Newcastle

Article excerpt

Byline: Reporter Name Title in here name@ncjmedia.co.uk

LABOUR has promised to wipe-out the Liberal Democrats in Newcastle at this year's local election.

Councillor Nick Forbes' bold statement ahead of the May 7 vote comes as the party begins to target key seats in North Heaton, Castle, Ouseburn, Fawdon, North Jesmond and East Gosforth. He expects the Liberal Democrat opposition to crumble and believes Labour is capable of taking every one of the six Lib Dem-held seats up for grabs.

But the Lib Dems described the challenge as nothing but 'hot-air' as it would be impossible to turn over all Lib Dem seats to Labour until at least 2018, even if they won every single forthcoming vote.

The Lib Dems currently have 24 seats and form the council's official opposition.

Coun Forbes said early canvassing has already shown those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 will be switching back to Labour.

He said: "People are disgusted with the Lib Dems and what we are hearing time and time again is that people are switching their vote from them to Labour. We think we can make Newcastle a Lib Demfree zone this year.

"People feel betrayed and let down by Nick Clegg and are inspired by the hardworking Labour teams on the ground." But Liberal Democrat councillor for North Heaton Greg Stone said: "Nick Forbes has clearly lost the plot.

"People have seen the mess Labour has made of running Newcastle, with libraries and leisure centres shut, rats and litter all over the streets, traffic chaos across the city and unnecessary council tax rises introduced.

"There is significant dissatisfaction with the way Labour are running Newcastle at present, with many people telling us just how much Nick Forbes is disliked. We are very confident that Labour will have fewer seats on the council on May 8 than it does now.

"The last time Coun Forbes made wild predictions about Lib Dem prospects in Newcastle was just prior to the North Jesmond by-election last August, which the Lib Dems won by a landslide. …

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