Not one leader from any of the major political parties has visited Tyne and Wear or County Durham as part of the General Election campaign.
David Cameron is the only leader so far to even venture into ANY part of the North East since the dissolution of parliament.
He visited Northumberland’s Alnwick and Stockton, the two areas where his party has a chance of winning next month, but bypassed large swathes of the region.
Labour leader Ed Miliband – whose party is favourite to win EVERY seat in Durham, Tyneside and Wearside, most seats in Teesside and half of those in Northumberland – has failed to make a public appearance anywhere in the North East.
The Liberal Democrats are defending Redcar and Berwick-upon-Tweed, yet Nick Clegg has been nowhere to be seen.
Nigel Farage claims UKIP is targeting parts of Teesside and has a strong interest in Blyth, and yet the leader of the “people’s army” has not made a public appearance anywhere in the North East.
And despite evidence of a Green surge in pockets of the region, Natalie Bennett has not visited to show support for her party’s candidates, either.
The North East is widely-regarded as safe Labour territory and this may explain the lack of interest from the parties’ top politicians in campaigning in this area.
Nonetheless, voters will be disappointed when they compare the region to, say, the Greater Manchester area, where the parties are fighting a higher number of key marginals.
Nick Clegg has visited seats in Greater Manchester four times, David Cameron twice and Ed Miliband four times.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 25 Apr 2015
A would-be MP was left red-faced after apparently parking up on double yellows as she launched her election campaign.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Conservative candidate for Berwick, Northumberland, posed for pictures next to a van bearing a Tory party pre-election advert.
But in a snap taken by a political rival, the van appears to be parked over double yellow lines in the centre of the busy market town of Alnwick.
Mrs Trevelyan has now been reported to the local authority responsible for traffic and parking enforcement.
And Labour opponent for the Berwick seat, Scott Dickinson said:
“I know that Labour on the council have now implemented free parking for towns and now country parks despite opposition from Ms Trevelyan’s Conservative party, but that doesn’t mean she’s able to park her expensive poster van anywhere ignoring the rules that apply to ordinary people.
“She needs to be more careful about where she parks for her photo opportunity and while this must be an embarrassment for her campaign, I’m sure she’ll take it in good grace.”
Mrs Trevelyan had staged a media call outside her party’s Alnwick office last week.
It featured a van bearing a poster carrying the Tories’ campaign slogan “A recovering economy, don’t let Labour wreck it,” designed by international advertising agency network M&C Saatchi.
The van is being taken on a national tour at the outset of the general election campaign.
A Conservative spokesman said:
“We would point out that it was the Conservatives who led the campaign for free parking in Northumberland and just wonder if Scott Dickinson is lining up a new job as a traffic warden for after the election, we would be happy to provide a reference.”
A council spokesman confirmed the authority had been made aware of the incident but said a parking ticket could not be given based on photographic evidence.
“Our civil enforcement officers patrol on and off-street parking across the county.
“In order for enforcement action to be carried out our officers need to observe that a parking contravention is taking place.
“In the case of vehicles parked on double yellow lines an officer must carry out at least two minutes of observation to check if loading or unloading is taking place as this is allowed on a double yellow line.
“If there is no loading or unloading taking place then they will issue a penalty charge notice to the vehicle.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 09 Mar 2015