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Lib Dems concede there is ‘no safe seat’ in Camden election battle

11:30 22 April 2014

Cllr Keith Moffitt. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Cllr Keith Moffitt. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The leader of Camden Liberal Democrats has admitted the party does not have a single “safe seat” and will have to fight hard for success.

Cllr Keith Moffitt, 61, said the decline in support for the Lib Dems nationally since entering government has had a knock-on effect on the party’s popularity locally.

But the West Hampstead councillor believes the party is still capable of ousting the Labour majority, with a concerted effort on the campaign trail.

“They’ve only got a very tenuous grip on power in Camden,” said Cllr Moffitt. “They could quite easily lose it.

“We recognise that, because of the national situation, it is a tougher fight, there is absolutely nowhere that is a safe seat.

“The landscape has changed. On the doorstep what we hear a lot is, ‘We’re pretty disgruntled with you nationally but I know locally you do a very good job and we’re going to carry on supporting you locally’.”

Cllr Moffitt, who served as leader of the council during the Tory/Lib Dem coalition between 2006 and 2010, said the council had “lost grip of customer services” under Labour.

He said: “What I hear repeatedly is Camden don’t answer emails and they don’t answer the phone. A lot of people’s day-to-day experience of dealing with Camden is very poor.”

He also questioned the ability of the administration’s cabinet: “I think since the last election there’s been quite a weak cabinet when I contrast it with the Lib Dem/Conservative partnership administration.

“I don’t think it’s a strong team, there are some real weak links which then means that you’re relying very heavily on the officers to run the council if you don’t have strong politicians.”

Top three pledges:

- Cut council waste and keep council tax down

- Improve council customer service

- Clean up Camden

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Results

Hampstead and Kilburn

  • Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
    23,977 (44.4%)

Finchley and Golders Green

  • Mike Freer (Conservative)
    25,835 (50.9%)

Holborn and St Pancras

  • Keir Starmer(Labour)
    29,062 (52.9%)

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