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LETTER: ‘We say loud and clear, Labour campaigning to win’ in East and South Cambs’

‘We’d like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion that the Lib Dems may have created’

Liberal Democrat publicity in our areas makes the bold, and false, claim that Labour has given up on the constituencies we live in. As leading officials of the Labour Party in Ely & East Cambs, and in South Cambs, we say loud and clear that we are campaigning to win.

Labour is well ahead in the polls and pundits agree that the General Election can be summed up as ‘expect the unexpected’.

With big boundary changes and even bigger changes in public opinion since the last General Election, everyone knows there will be shocks even more breath taking than the infamous ‘Portillo moment’ in 1997.

Labour recently won the Mid Bedfordshire by-election, overturning a huge Conservative majority. The Lib Dems tried their usual tactics claiming it was close between themselves and the Conservatives and asserting Labour couldn’t win.

Except they were wrong and Labour did win and they were third. Voters in rural seats like Mid Bedfordshire do back Labour.

We’d like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion that the Lib Dems may have created here.

In order to work effectively towards a Labour Government, the party has identified ‘battleground’ seats which together deliver a Labour majority Government. The battleground is re-electing Labour’s current MPs and gaining key marginals.

Other constituencies in the country are therefore termed ‘non-battleground’. That doesn’t mean they can’t be won by Labour and activists will be campaigning hard for a Labour MP who, if forecasts are right, will be part of the next Government.

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Yet the Liberal Democrats have distorted ‘‘non-battleground’ to mean ‘can’t win’. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In 2019, the Lib Dems targeted hundreds of seats. Their leader said she’d be Prime Minister. The result was terrible: their leader lost her seat and they ended with just 11 MPs. They’ve learned their lesson of over-reaching.

Press reports suggest that the Lib Dems now have 30-50 target seats. Most of these are well south of here and not in Cambridgeshire. If the Lib Dems publish their lists, we won’t be trying to twist that to mean something else.

No party can ever be sure if it can or can’t win a particular constituency. It is for parties to offer candidates and to explain their policies. The power to choose an MP lies with the voters.

In Labour we know it is the voters who will decide this election and we’re working tirelessly to earn their trust.

James Bull, Chair, Ely & East Cambs Labour Party

Luke Viner, Chair, South Cambs Labour Party

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