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Local parties clash over ‘gutter politics’

Created on 03/03/2011 @ 10:09
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The campaign for the local Welsh Assembly Government seat has turned ugly after the Conservatives accused the Liberal Democrats of ‘gutter politics’.
The two parties may be holding hands at a national level, but locally battle lines have been drawn following the release of Lib Dem candidate Wyn Williams’s latest promotional newspaper which has been lambasted by the Tories.
The argument centres on a claim in the Montgomeryshire Mail (right) where Mr Williams warns readers that if the Tories gain power, they will implement cuts that would end hopes of a by-pass through Newtown.
It said: “The Newtown bypass is critical to improving traffic in our area. Any threat to it would rightly anger local people. The budget is already small and the future of the Newtown bypass is already at risk. Cuts on the scale the Tories are planning would surely be the final nail in the coffin. I will continue to work with local communities to fight for our bypass.”
But it has angered the Tories with MP Glyn Davies saying last night: “It’s the sort of gutter politics I'd hoped we'd moved on from. It’s called the Montgomeryshire Mail, propaganda designed to look like our local weekly. In the three years I opposed Lembit Opik, he never sanctioned anything so deceitful. It’s a sad day for honest politics.”
Williams’s opposite number from the Conservatives, Russell George, has been a prominent campaigner for traffic action and has been left bemused by the publication’s content and tone. 
“What I find so personally disappointing is the use of a deceitful and scaremongering attack on my long standing commitment to improving local services and infrastructure for the people of Newtown and surrounding communities,” he said.
It is believed that the Conservative Party Chairman has written a “strongly worded letter” to Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, to demand an apology.
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