Lib Dem leader backs Councillor Watkins

March 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Rochdale Lib Dem councillor Elwyn Watkins, the Lib Dem party's parliamentary candidate in Oldham East and Saddleworth, a key marginal bring targeted by the Lib Dems, has received the personal backing of Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

Mr Clegg, on a visit to Oldham and Saddleworth, commenting on the stir caused recently after Councillor Watkins sent an email claiming Rochdale council is perceived as doing "nothing for poor white people", said: "Elwyn has given me his personal assurance that those comments were not his own thoughts.

"He was representing the views of his constituents, which is what we all have to do - even if we don't like it."