The Luton South Tory candidate has removed from his web site a story claiming the plan to build 5,500 new houses East of Luton was all the Liberal Democratsâ€™ fault. His Liberal Democrat rival, Qurban Hussain, says Mr Huddleston’s claim that the proposals were advanced when the Lib Dems, who have have long opposed the Government’s imposed Regional Spatial Strategy, were in charge of Luton Council simply not true.
“The Labour government’s growth agenda was foisted on Luton soon after Liberal Democrats took over at the Town hall in 2003,” says Qurban Hussain. “Proposals for a massive housebuilding programme East of Luton came much later, have been consistently and strongly opposed by Liberal Democrats and have only gone as far as they have because throughout the years the plan has been supported and promoted by the Labour and Tory members of the Luton & Central Bedfordshire Joint Planning Committee.”
“He really has a nerve calling us forgetful, disingenuous and thoroughly deceptive on this issue. Mr Huddleston is quite simply wrong to try to shift the blame onto Liberal Democrats when the truth is the whole idea of building East of Luton was invented by his Tory Councillor colleagues. It has been consistently supported and promoted by his Tory Councillor colleagues. The only members of the Joint Committee to ever vote against the plan are the Liberal Democrat members. The story may have disappeared from his web site, but if this is the kind of half truth and political spin he intends to offer Luton residents, then it will even further diminish his already shaky credibility.”
Further information: The two offending sentences in the story (now removed) from the web site are:
“My political opponents are being forgetful, disingenuous and thoroughly deceptive on this issue. It was Labour government policy to build thousands of homes on green belt land, and the proposals were advanced when the Lib Dems were in charge of Luton Council but clearly asleep at the wheel.”