Nick Clegg with in Redcar with local MP Ian Swales, who has refused to comment on the scandal

The Liberal Democrats have lost a previously safe council seat after Political Scrapbook published a series of shocking islamophobic comments from their candidate. Dave Stones’ sick remarks came to light two weeks ago and were resolutely ignored by Lib Dem senior leadership despite overwhelming criticism from a host of anti-racism institutions.

Although appearing on leaflets, Ian Swales MP appears to have stayed away from campaigning and the vote count – yet like his senior Lib Dem colleagues has utterly failed to condemn Stones’ comments. Left to sell a racist candidate, numerous demotivated Lib Dem activists stayed away.

Nick Clegg, who leaked emails revealed was fully aware of the controversy, was clearly hoping to brush the matter under the carpet without comment, but instead saw a majority of almost 400 disappear.

The polls yesterday saw voters punish Stones and his party, with the results as follows:

John Hannon (Lab) – 539 votes

Dave Stones (LD) – 484 votes

Matthew Bennet (Con) – 76 votes

After their drubbing at the ballot box, Clegg’s continuing silence will be even more damning.

  1. No-one on this site has yet explained how being anti-Muslim is racist.

    Islam is a religion; not a race.

    Is being anti-Christian racist too?

  2. Newcomen was hardly a safe Lib Dem seat. Glynis Abbott, the LD Councillor who sadly died, had a huge personal vote in a demographically Labour area. Personal votes do not translate into Party votes.

  3. Newcomen – Labour hasn’t held that seat since the 80s. You can make light of it, but I sure bet Ian Swales won’t be when he sits down with his calculator.

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