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Labour GLA member Andrew Dismore and Conservative Hendon MP Matthew Offord reignite vile war of words before 2015 election
The pair fell out during the last general election in 2010, when Labour's Andrew Dismore lost his seat to Tory newcomer Matthew Offord
A vile war of words has erupted between two old political enemies who look set to fight it out over a parliamentary seat for the second time.
Andrew Dismore announced this week he intends to stand for selection as the Labour parliamentary candidate for the Hendon constituency - a seat he lost at the last election.
If chosen, which insiders say seems likely, the GLA member will face his bitter enemy and incumbent Hendon MP Matthew Offord, who ousted him from the seat three years ago.
Months before the candidates are even confirmed for the 2015 election, the experienced politicians have already begun aiming jabs at one another as they look to gain the upper hand in the political spat.
Former deputy leader of Barnet Council Mr Offord accused his would-be opponent of running a “deeply unpleasant” campaign at the last election.
He added that Mr Dismore was “treating voters with contempt” by proposing to stand while he sits on the London Assembly.
The former head of Westminster’s Labour group responded by claiming it was his Conservative counterpart that ran the dirty election, labelling the Tory’s claims as “laughable”.
The unsavoury row may do little to appease voters but Mr Dismore says he feels the time is right for him to make a return to Parliament.
He said: “There is a feeling of unfinished business. It was good to have a year out of politics (before he won a seat on the London Assembly) but things have influenced me since then.
“I still want to fight for people in the constituency. I’m more experienced and more willing to stand up for what I believe in now, not just what the party wants.
“So many people, including some Tories, have been telling me to stand. That and the state of national politics made up my mind.”
Mr Offord courted controversy with recent comments on same-sex marriage, but he challenged Mr Dismore to answer questions on his own policies.
He said: “He needs to answer questions on Labour’s borrowing policy – they don’t seem to have one - why he was seeking votes for prisoners and why he agrees with same-sex marriage.
“He will no doubt approach this campaign in the same way as the last one – underhandedly. He led a deeply unpleasant campaign in 2010 and I expect the same thing again.”