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MP Lynne sets battlelines for campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:42 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 07 September 2010

IN a rousing start to her formal campaign, MP Lynne Featherstone has been officially chosen as the Lib Dems Hornsey and Wood Green candidate. Party stalwarts from Haringey arrived at Hornsey Bowling Club to offer their support and funds. T

Rhiannon Evans

IN a rousing start to her formal campaign, MP Lynne Featherstone has been officially chosen as the Lib Dems' Hornsey and Wood Green candidate.

Party stalwarts from Haringey arrived at Hornsey Bowling Club to offer their support and funds.

The 58-year-old will defend the seat she won from Labour's Barbara Roche in 2005.

As is the custom with such events, long-time supporters of Ms Featherstone attended the event on March 31.

There were speeches from former police chief and mayoral candidate Brian Paddick and MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford.

Just last month, outspoken MP John Prescott was in Haringey for the launch of Labour candidate Karen Jennings' campaign.

Baroness Ludford, who has known Ms Featherstone for about 15 years, told the packed room: "We know she is a local treasure and a national treasure for the party.

"But she knows and we know that we can't just rest on her catalogue of achievement and record.

"We are all going to have to battle very hard in the coming weeks.

"I know you will rise to the challenge - because we can't afford to lose Lynne Featherstone as our MP. She is a star and I know her star is going to continue to rise."

Mr Paddick, who came third in the most recent mayoral race, drew attention to the Lib Dems' commitment to making six of the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams a 24-hour service.

But he said the most important thing was that the local police had an effective - and Lib Dem - council to work with in the coming years and reminded them that they were fighting two elections.

"It's about getting a council which can come in behind the police and get together to increase local safety," he said.

"It's so important we get out there and get people to vote, not just for Lynne but for the local councillors as well."

Speaking later, Ms Featherstone said she couldn't believe five years had flown by already and ran through some of the campaigns she had undertaken since her election.

She specifically criticised Labour for its post office closures. She said that the consultation period involved in the decision had made her cynical about the autumn survey which will be done to gauge public opinion on the Whittington A&E's possible closure.

Responding to Conservative candidate Richard Merrin's pledge to halt the north London review prompting the process, she said: "The Tories have said they will delay until there's a consultation. We are the only party who have said we will stop it in its tracks.

"We are going to have to go out there and fight and make sure people know Labour's record of failure and let people know that a Tory vote is completely irrelevant."

She also responded to comments that she was financing her campaign and called for the support of those gathered.

"We are not backed by unions or big business and, despite the rumours, we are not backed by me either - we are backed by us," she said.

She ended by harking back to her successful "make mine a double" campaign to allow homes to have more than one recycling box, saying: "Given that we are fighting two elections this year, let's make ours a double.


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