Helen Liddell in the Press

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Liddell attacks Lib Dems

The Labour Party has taken another step to distance itself from the Liberal Democrats in the run up to the next General Election.

Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell accused Labour's coalition partners at Holyrood of living in a "private fantasy land".

Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Glasgow, Mrs Liddell said the Liberal Democrats were of "little relevance".

Her remarks come days after First Minister, Henry McLeish used his conference speech to brand Scotland's minority parties as "William Hague's little helpers".

Mrs Liddell told 3,000 delegates at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre: "The role of the Nationalists and Lib Dems in this campaign is as William Hague's little helpers.

"The Tories have nothing constructive to offer. They can only be negative and are only happy when they can carp and criticise about Scotland.

"The Tories showed they could not care less for Scotland. Nothing has changed.

"The Liberal Democrats occupy some private fantasy land with little relevance to those of us who know that choices, not chances, build a strong society."

Mrs Liddell also said that the only way the Conservatives could win the next General Election was if there was a low turnout.

Voter apathy

"We know that the Conservatives realise their only chance of making any progress in the next general election is if the turnout was to fall," she said.

"They know that if one in five Labour supporters fails to vote, then we lose 60 seats. Our majority will fall by 120.

"The Conservatives' back-door strategy is to sow cynicism, to make people think that no government can really change things.

"The way they hope to win seats they cannot win on their own merits is through apathy and cynicism.

"Our job is to banish that cynicism, to make sure that constituency by constituency, street by street, door by door, those Labour voters vote."