Vince Cable causes controversy after claiming Labour Party in Leeds has 'fallen into hands of extremists'
The leader of the Liberal Democrats has stirred the pot after claiming there is a 'serious problem' with the far-Left in Leeds.
Vince Cable spoke to reporters on a trip to the city yesterday (Thursday), saying the party's Leeds branches were among those which had "fallen into the hands of extremists".
The claim was slammed by Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake, who criticised the politician for making statements "that he can't justify or explain".
Speaking to the BBC in Salvo's restaurant in Headingley, Mr Cable said: "The problem with the Labour Party is it's fallen into the hands of extremists in many areas. I'm told in Leeds they've got quite a hold of the Labour Party and that's not healthy.
"I doubt many people will switch from Labour to the Conservatives, but they should switch to us."
The politician went on to explain: "There's a problem across the country not just in Leeds, where groups of people - something called Momentum - have taken over the party.
"They're threatening their local MPs who are more moderate and sensible and middle-of-the road. I don't know the extent of the penetration in Leeds but I'm told it's a serious problem here."
Mr Cable was criticised by Judith Blake, who hit out with her own response.
Coun Blake said: "How irresponsible to come to our great city and make statements that he can't justify or explain.
"We don't need to take any lessons from Vince Cable whose party in Government has caused us and the people in Leeds so much hardship over a number of years."