Election: Moray Labour and Tory candidates clash over ‘UKIP deal’

Sean Morton and Douglas Ross

Labour’s Sean Morton is calling on his Tory opponent in the General Election next month to declare whether or not he would align himself with UKIP if elected.

The challenge came after former candidates and party officials from the Liberal Democrats, SNP and UKIP came out in support of Tory candidate Douglas Ross in the fight to oust Angus Robertson from the Westminster seat.

Mr Morton insisted that his Tory opponent wished people in Moray to imagine that he was running as an independent rather than as “a former LibDem turned Tory”.

He said: “He is a walking, talking version of the failed Tory/LibDem coalition. Just which of their policies does he disagree with? The bedroom tax? The zero-hours contracts? The base closures? The tax cuts for millionaires?

“What’s worse is that the Tories will not rule out a coalition with UKIP. And just last week Douglas was celebrating winning the endorsement of a former UKIP candidate.

“The truth is we need change in Moray – we don’t need more of the same from the callous Tory-LibDem coalition and we can’t risk the danger of UKIP being added to the toxic mix.

“Douglas should tell us which Tory policies he’d try to protect Moray from and be honest about the deals his party are planning with UKIP.”

Last night Douglas Ross hit back at the outburst, insisting that what people were hoping for was a “new style” of politics with an MP that laid aside party issues when speaking up for his own constituents.

He said: “Last week I was endorsed by people who have been heavily involved with different political parties.

“I can understand why that doesn’t sit comfortably with my opponents as the message from the three people who endorsed me in the press is being repeated across Moray. People like the way I stand up for communities and believe I am the only candidate in Moray who can beat the SNP.

“We do need a new style of politics and being independently minded and speaking up for my constituents is how I’ve operated as a councillor and I would do the same as Moray’s MP.

“Having seen Sean Morton’s attacks and read one piece of SNP literature I’m glad I’ve taken a different approach in this election. I’m concentrating on what I’ve done for the area, how I would be a strong voice and a local champion for Moray rather than simply attacking the opposition parties.

“That is why I am proud of the campaign I’m running and why we are picking up cross-party support.

“And to answer Sean Morton’s question – I wouldn’t be doing any deals with UKIP and I doubt with only one or two MPs they will have much influence.

“I would hope to be the MP for Moray as part of a Conservative government which in the last Parliament helped to put two million people back into work and led the Head of the IMF to say last week when talking about growth rates in Europe ‘It’s obvious that what is happening in the UK has actually worked.'”

There are six candidates for the Moray seat – Douglas Ross (Scottish Conservative), Angus Robertson (SNP), James MacKessack-Leitch (Greens), Sean Morton (Labour), Jamie Paterson (Lib Dem) and Rob Scorer (UKIP).

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