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ELECTION 2015: War of words breaks out in final run-up to polling day

ELECTION 2015: War of words breaks out in final run-up to polling day

Lucy Elder

As the run up to the elections draws to its conclusion, tensions have been running high among campaigners.

A war of words broke out on the internet earlier this week between several candidates standing in the Royal Borough elections.

A flyer with the slogan ‘Don’t let the Liberal Democrats in through the back door on May 7’ has been circulated in Clewer North by some Conservative candidates.

The flyer quotes dates and wards that Wisdom Da Costa has previously stood in on a Liberal Democrat ticket.

Cllr Da Costa (Independent, Clewer North) is currently standing as an independent candidate in Clewer North and refutes the claim that he is still a Lib Dem.

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot and Cheapside), whose name appears on the bottom of the leaflet, said: “All that leaflet does is says ‘this is a guy that has stood about five or six times in Slough’.

“We are just saying ‘do you really want to have Liberal Democrats’, and they might do.”

Cllr Geoff Hill (Con, Oldfield) said: “Our rationale is quite straight forward and that is Wisdom has stood as a Liberal Democrat a number of times.

“He is standing now purporting to be an independent in Clewer North.”

He added: “If he is a Liberal, he should stand as a Liberal.”

Cllr Da Costa, a former chairman of the West Windsor Residents' Association and an active campaigner on community issues said: “I suppose in a way it is a little bit irritating. Why don’t they just focus on their own policies?

“It is a distraction, it is disappointing.”

He has thanked the Tories for ‘the effort and the love’ of delivering leaflets about him.

Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) said: “What we believe strongly is that voters should know who they are voting for.”

He added: “I think you just need to be transparent.

“If you have got a political view, you should make that clear.”

Numerous candidates were involved in the heated exchanges on Twitter.

Another matter raised on the site was the question over why Deputy Mayor Cllr James Evans (Con, Clewer South) was one of 10 people to sign the nomination forms for Jennifer and Terry Wilby, who are both standing as independent candidates in Clewer North.

Cllr Evans confirmed it is his signature on the nomination form.

“Lots of people want to stand,” he said. My view is more choice is good for democracy.

“They are standing on an independent slate.”

Jennifer Wilby confirmed they are standing as independent candidates as they want to make a difference.

“We just want to voice our opinion for what we believe in,” she said.

She added there are bits and pieces she likes from other parties’ manifestos, including the Conservatives.

John Endacott, husband of the late Clewer North independent Cllr Cynthia Endacott, said: “I have had sight of the nomination papers for these two candidates and in each case the nomination is supported by councillor and Deputy Mayor James Evans.

“I don’t like what could be construed to be dirty tricks like this to split the vote.

“It is 28 years since a conservative lost a seat and they have been trying ever since to get it back.”

Click here for a full list of Royal Borough candidates.

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