Voters urged to reject Tory cuts

LABOUR launched its election campaign for Europe and the county councils in the East of England by urging voters to reject the Tory policy of spending cuts and to back Gordon Brown's message of economic growth and investment in the public services.

Graham Dines

LABOUR launched its election campaign for Europe and the county councils in the East of England by urging voters to reject the Tory policy of spending cuts and to back Gordon Brown's message of economic growth and investment in the public services.

Government junior minister Liam Byrne was in Ipswich to boost Labour's support in elections which are being overshadowed by the publicity maelstrom engulfing MPs at Westminster over their expense claims.

Mr Byrne said the Tory strategy of spending cuts was “incredibly risky” He added: “I am sure people understand the big choice they are faced with between Labour and the Conservatives.


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“Britain cannot cut its way out of recession - it must grow its way. That's the difference between the parties and that's why people will back Labour in these elections.”

Yet despite this outward show of confidence, Labour is deeply worried about the impact the expenses row will have on their vote. Only one Euro MP - Richard Howitt - was elected in 2004, with the Tories winning three seats, the UK Independence Party two seats, and the Liberal Democrats one.

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This time, the British National Party (BNP) is mounting a major campaign, hoping to cash in on voter fears of mass immigration as well as public disgust with the main parties because of the expenses row.

Mr Byrne said: “The BNP's message is one of hatred. Politics has never been more important than it is at the moment and that's why Labour policies are right for everyone living in Britain.”

Polling takes place on June 4 for the elections to Brussels and Essex and Suffolk county councils. The euro poll is conducted using the list system of proportional representation, in which the voters choose a party and candidates are elected from each party list using according to the percentage of the votes cast.

Labour's seven candidates for the East of England regional constituency for Europe are Richard Howitt who lives in Cambridge, Beth Kelly from Hatfield in Hertfordshire, Nigel Gardner from St Albans,

Shewrma Batson from Stevenage, James Valentine from Bedford, Katie Curtis from Canvey Island, and Christopher Ostrowski from London SE1.

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