Lib Dems apologise for claim on flyer

A POLITICAL group has pledged to print an election flyer apologising to a rival it wrongly accused of backing a �220,000 pay package for Suffolk County Council's top officer.

Laurence Cawley

A POLITICAL group has pledged to print an election flyer apologising to a rival it wrongly accused of backing a �220,000 pay package for Suffolk County Council's top officer.

Independent Paul Hopfensperger is hoping to keep his seat on Suffolk County Council when voters got the polling stations next month for the Hardwick division.

But he was left shocked when a member of the public contacted him asking whether he had - as claimed in a Liberal Democrat flyer for rival candidate Craig Dearden-Phillips - backed moves to pay the council's chief executive Andrea Hill �220,000 a year.


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In fact, Mr Hopfensperger, who currently represents the Tower division, had - along with the Liberal Democrats at County Hall - voted against the move.

The A3-sized flyer also claimed Mr Hopfensperger had voted to cut �40million from the county council's home help budget, which he did not.

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Mr Hopfensperger, who has raised the matter with both the police and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is running the county council elections in the borough, said: “I've fought my campaign with honesty and integrity letting people know what I have already done and what I intend to do if elected again.

“All the Liberal Democrats seem to have done is to try to smear the other candidates and in my case mislead people. People are sick of this type of politics and hopefully that will show at the ballot box.”

He said he had sought legal advice from a lawyer and would decide whether to pursue the matter after the election results were known.

The Liberal Democrats have apologised for the error and have pledged to try and put the matter right as soon as possible.

Charles Bradbury, spokesman for Bury St Edmunds and District Liberal Democrats, said: “It is obviously regrettable that this went out.

“We got some misinformation. We will be issuing an apology in our next flyer and that will go our as soon as possible.”

The other candidates contesting the Hardwick division are Gill Malik (Lab) and Stefan Oliver (Con).

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