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Duo quit Labour for the LibDems.

Two former Labour councillors are to speak in support of Redcar's Liberal Democrat candidate in the general election, Ian Swales.

The former deputy leader of the Labour Group on Redcar and Cleveland Council, Keith Pudney, and former leading Labour county councillor, Dave Punshon, have both joined the Liberal Democrats.

They are to speak at an adoption rally to launch the campaign for the Liberal Democrat candidate for Redcar Constituency at the Park Hotel, Redcar, tonight .

* Mark Brooks, the Conservative candidate in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has hit back at Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon giving his backing to Labour's Ashok Kumar in the constituency.

"I and many members of the public will find it astonishing that at the same time as Ray Mallon declares his support for Labour MP Ashok Kumar, it is revealed that Middlesbrough's health service is in crisis and wards at local hospitals may close.

"On top of this, since he became the MP, violent crime and anti-social behaviour has risen sharply in Middlesbrough and the council tax has gone up by 73pc.

"On these key Middlesbrough issues, it is the Labour government which Ashok Kumar actively supports who are responsible for these matters, so it is staggering that Ray Mallon, as Mayor, can find any way to support him."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2005
Words:213
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