Tories ‘defending only’ in Leeds battle

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
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ED BALLS has said Labour is the driving force in the West Yorkshire election battlefield.

Mr Balls said the Tories are fighting a purely defensive campaign with only half hearted attempts to take his Morley and Outwood seat.

In 2010 the Conservatives launched a push to take his seat, but Mr Balls defended with a majority 1,101.

Now senior Tories have again sought to target Morley, with the Chancellor George Osborne leading efforts last week, but this time the Labour team say they face a less confident Tory challenge.

Mr Balls said: “They spent a lot of Ashcroft money in this seat in 2010 and they threw everything at it, we had Cameron and Osborne here again and again. They didn’t win in what was a really tough election for Labour.

“Now there are Conservative ministers visiting Dewsbury or Pudsey and they drop in here. We’ve had George Osborne here doing an interview that when he retires from politics he probably won’t look back on with great pride, talking about rescuing the flag out of the gutter.

“But the reality is that the Conservatives are fighting an entirely defensive campaign, trying to hold seats not win them. The idea that they can take seats in West Yorkshire is just rubbish.

“The entire Tory strategy of warning about the SNP is based on the premise the Tories will lose. When they say ‘here is the threat from the SNP no one is saying ‘what are you talking about, you’re going to win?’”