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Conservative Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer attacked by Labour candidate Sarah Sackman over support for One Barnet and government cuts
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green has attacked Conservative incumbent Mike Freer for backing swingeing cuts to public services.
Sarah Sackman, who was selected on Sunday to challenge for the seat at the 2015 general election, said it was “the damage being done to public services” that inspired her to stand for Parliament.
The public law barrister said: “The coalition’s policies are hurting ordinary people, not least in Finchley and Golders Green.
“Seeing the impact on the cost of living for ordinary people and the damage being done to public services provided the catalyst for me to stand.”
Ms Sackman criticised Mr Freer for his stance on coalition cuts and his record on Barnet Council’s controversial One Barnet outsourcing scheme, under which millions of pounds of public services have been signed over to business processes firm Capita.
She said: “Mike Freer was the architect of the One Barnet scheme when he was leader of Barnet Council (in 2009) and people I speak to are not convinced the savings will be delivered.
“Our job in the Labour group will be to hold Capita to account to ensure they deliver what they have promised.
“Mike Freer is vulnerable in his seat by his association to this scheme. As a government loyalist, he has backed this Tory-led coalition on pretty much every proposal to cut public services and backed a strategy of pure austerity.”
Ms Sackman, a member of trade union Unite, was selected by a majority vote ahead of Catherine Tuitt and Unite-backed candidate Alon Or-bach.
The trade union has courted controversy by backing members in other constituencies where voting records have been called in to question, but Ms Sackman defended her links to the organisation.
She said: “I’m a Unite member but I wasn’t backed by Unite. We had a fantastic meeting on Sunday, which was packed out and I had a clear majority among more than 200 voters.
“I was selected by the local members, not Unite, and I think the electorate will see that.
“It is an absolute honour to be selected. It is an area I know and love and a diverse and wonderful place to live and we need to keep it that way.”
Mike Freer has so far been unavailable for comment.