Accusations fly in Glasgow East

Accusations of political slurs and misinformation are flying in the Glasgow East by-election just one day after the Labour candidate began her campaign.

Former health minister Margaret Curran began her campaign yesterday standing on a wooden box outside a Co-op shop with the phrase: “The Labour fightback starts right here, right now.”

The ensuing speech, in which Ms Curran claimed to have lived in the East End of Glasgow all her life, was immediately seized on by the Scottish National party (SNP) as misleading who say she is known to have lived in the Southside of Glasgow for several years.

At the same time, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg launched a scathing attack on David Cameron’s keynote Glasgow East speech on Monday where he urged people to take responsibility for their own lives.

Billed as a partial return to traditional Tory values, Mr Clegg said it was a “disgraceful slur” on local people.
“David Cameron claimed here on Monday that you were the example of everything that is wrong with this country and that your problems are all your own fault,” Mr Clegg said.
“He should apologise for that disgraceful slur on the real people who struggle hard every day to make a good life for their family in a place that has been brutally neglected by Labour and Conservative politicians for decades.”

On the issue of Ms Curran’s living arrangements, SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Labour are so out of touch it seems Ms Curran doesn’t even know where the East End is.

“For Margaret Curran to claim on national television that she has lived in the East End all her life is to mislead voters in a crucial by-election contest on only her first day.

“Labour’s campaign so far has been an utter shambles – now it is also misleading.”

Labour are struggling to keep their seat in the constituency in the face of a confident and confrontational campaign from the SNP.