Labour man branded ‘hack’ as row erupts over Horwich by-election
A row has erupted between Labour and the Liberal Democrats over tactics used in last Thursday’s Horwich by-election.
The argument stems from a leaflet produced and circulated by the Liberal Democrats which described Labour’s candidate for the Church Ward seat, Andrew Morley, as “another Labour hack” and depicts him as a puppet.
The leaflet reads “Doug Bagnall and the Liberal Democrats are fighting to get a fair deal for Horwich residents — and you will not get that by electing another Labour hack to the town council”.
It continues: “A clear choice — Doug Bagnall or another Labour puppet.”
Despite the leaflet, Labour went on to win the by-election, edging out the Liberal Democrats by a single vote.
Mr Morley gained 279 votes while Mr Bagnall polled 278 votes.
In third place was UKIP candidate and former mayor of Horwich, Peter McGeehan, who amassed 96 votes.
Conservative Anne Galloway ran in fourth place with 81 votes and the Green party's Keith Cocker finished up in last place with 30 votes.
Labour’s executive cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Nick Peel, slammed the leaflet.
He said: “This was a personal attack on Andrew and we don’t need that in local politics.
“Even for the Liberal Democrats this is scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
Mr Bagnall, though, has stood by his claims in the leaflet.
He said: “It wasn’t a personal attack — I would say that every Labour councillor is a Bolton Council Labour hack — they all do what their Labour masters tell them to do and they don’t think for themselves.”
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