‘It’s obviously disappointing’ says Stockton Lib Dem as ex-party peer hands £10k to Labour rival

The Liberal Democrat candidate for Stockton South says he is disappointed at Lord Oakeshott handing £10,000 to his Labour rival – but can understand the decision.

 Labour candidate Louise Baldock has said she will accept a £10,000 donation from the former Liberal Democrat peer .

Matthew Oakeshott, who sits in the House of Lords as an independent after leaving the Liberal Democrat party last year, has donated £600,000 to Labour and Lib Dem MPs to fight the Conservatives in key marginal seats.

And he has identified Stockton South as a key target and donated £10,000 towards Ms Baldock’s campaign to unseat Tory James Wharton.

Now, Stockton South Lib Dem candidate Drew Durning has expressed his view on the donation.

“I can fully understand why Lord Oakeshott is doing everything he can to fight the Conservatives,” he said.

“But the way to give the best weight to Liberal Democrat values would be to support Liberal Democrat candidates.

“It is obviously disappointing.”

Mr Durning, 56, was picked to stand in the seat only this weekend.

He runs an organic food business in the area, and lives in the Oxbridge Lane area of Stockton with his wife Anna.

Mr Wharton won the seat with 38.9% of the vote in 2010, with Labour coming second with a 38.3% share.

The Lib Dems came third with 15.1%.

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 22 Jan 2015

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