Calls for apology after Lib Dem smoking gag

The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Alisdair McGregor has been criticised for a comment urging smokers to keep smoking.

Tuesday, 30th September 2014, 3:04 pm
The first in a series of debates between Conservative Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker and parliamentary candidates Josh Fenton-Glynn and Alisdair McGregor at Brighouse High School with chairman Liz Green.

The remark was made at the expense of Labour’s plans to increase funding for the NHS which includes to proposals to to increase duty on tobacco. ty.

Mr McGregor said: “People in the UK spend £15 billion on tobacco in a given year, £9.5 billion of that goes in tax and duty to the Government and the total amount of money spent on healthcare due to is only £5 billion.

“So, in fact, smokers keep smoking - you give an extra £4 billion a year to the NHS to keep it running - sorry, but that’s they way you want to look at it.”

Calderdale Lib Dems have selected Alisdair Calder McGregor as their candidate for Calder Valley at the 2015 general election.

Coun Megan Swift (Lab, Town) called for Mr McGregor to apologise for his ‘flippant’ remarks.

However, Coun James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) insisted that Mr McGregor was making a point about Labour’s NHS policy.

He said: “It’s not consistent to say you want people to stop smoking but also smoking will fund things.”

He went on to accuse Labour of “actively planning to fund services on people’s addictions.”