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Clegg & Kendall comment on Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election

January 14, 2011 11:23 AM

Cllr David Kendall with Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal DemocratsAfter a hard-fought by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg, paid tribute to the hard work of the Liberal Democrat candidate, Elwyn Watkins, and his team.

Commenting on the result, Nick Clegg said:

"This was a very hard-fought contest but we were not able to gain this Labour seat on this occasion. I'd like to pay tribute to our superb candidate, Elwyn Watkins, and his team up in Oldham who have run an exceptional campaign.

"I am proud of each and every one of the hundreds of activists and volunteers who have brought the fight to Labour's front door in a way that will have confounded our critics.

"It was always going to be a big ask to take this seat from Labour, given the circumstances. We are undertaking some enormously difficult decisions because Labour left Britain's economy in a mess and we are now forced to clean up after them.

"By 2015, I hope that the people of Oldham and Saddleworth will see, like everyone else in the country, that the difficult choices we made were the right ones and that Britain is in better shape than when we entered Government."

Brentwood Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr David Kendall, said:

"With many pundits forecasting a collapse of the Lib Dem vote in Oldham East and Saddleworth I am pleased to see us in such a strong second place.

"But no matter what the result, Elwyn Watkins should be applauded for having the courage to challenge former Labour MP Phil Woolas over his election material in which Woolas made false claims about him.

"This speedy by-election should serve as a lesson to all politicans to tell the truth about their opponents, especially in light of another by-election due in Barnsely Central when another former Labour MP has admitted expenses fraud and has announced he is stepping down."