Candidates caught up in lying claims

IPSWICH: The election campaign hotted up today as both Labour and Conservative workers accused each other of peddling lies.

Last week the Conservatives accused Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman of scaremongering over her party’s claim that a Tory government would put Sure Start, free bus passes for the over-60s, and other benefits at risk.

Now Labour has hit back with claims that the Conservatives are scaremongering over claims that maternity services at Ipswich Hospital are at risk.

Conservative candidate Ben Gummer was furious over claims that the Conservatives would cut support for those in need.

He said: “Harriet Harman and Chris Mole should check their moral compasses. Labour lies about Conservative policies are designed to frighten people – especially vulnerable people – into voting for their discredited government.

“I have a very simple message for anyone involved with Sure Start in Ipswich: the Conservatives have no plans to close any Children’s Centres. In fact we are the only party committed to expanding Sure Start.

“We will strengthen Sure Start by recruiting 4,200 new Sure Start Health Visitors and introducing a universal Sure Start Health Visitor service – giving every family in Ipswich the expert help and advice they need.

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“It is a measure of the Labour Party’s desperation to keep this seat that they are resorting to these kinds of tactics.

“The Conservatives will keep the Winter Fuel Allowance, keep free TV licences for the over 75s, keep free bus passes, and we will protect and expand Sure Start.”

Meanwhile, Mr Mole said it was totally wrong for the Conservatives to suggest in an election leaflet that there was a review underway of maternity services at Ipswich Hospital.

He said: “I was disappointed to see a further claim about the future of Ipswich Hospital services in the propaganda being circulated by local Conservative candidates.

“To suggest that maternity services are under threat from a review is untrue and irresponsible. Having been asked about paediatric physiotherapy by a member of the public I have talked to the PCT and they have told me there is no question of the unit closing; indeed their only plans are to invest in and improve maternity services.

“I am afraid this appears to be another claim from Mr Gummer and his cohorts who will say anything to secure your vote.”

He said the Conservatives proposed cutting �200million from the Sure Start budget which could lead to the closure of one in five centres.

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