September 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has defiantly proclaimed “I will work hard and win” at next year’s general election – insisting she will see off her Labour rival.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP, who is a minister for international development, admitted that even she has personally taken issue with some decisions made by the coalition government.
However, she said her own election campaign will focus on her “local record” rather than the performance of the Lib Dems in government.
Ms Featherstone told the Ham&High she does not feel threatened by her Labour competitor, former Islington Council leader Catherine West, saying: “I don’t know her.”
When told about her rival’s comments, Ms West responded by saying the election battle should not be about “Lynne versus Catherine”.
Selected in June last year, Ms West is tipped as the person most likely to seize the seat held by Ms Featherstone since 2005.
The MP made the comments at an advice surgery for residents in The Miltons, Highgate, last week.
Of her expectations ahead of the general election, Ms Featherstone told the Ham&High: “I’m going to work hard and win. I fight for local people and I’ve been stomping these streets frequently as a local councillor since 1998.”
She added: “Going into coalition has been difficult for the Liberal Democrats but the reason why we went into coalition was the economy, and the economy is turning around.
“The issues people have with the coalition are about coalition government in general. Even I still have issues with the coalition, but I am standing on my local record.”
Ms Featherstone revealed she was confident she will retain the seat in the face of a very public show of discontent with the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government at Haringey’s local elections in May.
Out of 22 Lib Dem councillors, only nine held their seats on the local authority.
Ms West, who lives in Archway, said she has met many residents in the constituency who voted for the Lib Dems at the last general election in 2010 and now tell her: “Never again!”
“This isn’t about Lynne versus Catherine,” she said. “It’s not just about the individuals but about a bigger narrative going on nationally.
“It’s more about the fact that lots of people back in 2010 voted Lib Dem because they felt they were going to get something different.”
She added: “Their pledges were unrealistic and now people can see they are not really able to deliver them. Now people are asking me how to get involved in my campaign.”