Political rivals go toe-to-toe

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Heavyweight politicians in Midlothian have taken a swing at each other following a vote on austerity cuts in the House of Commons.

MP David Hamilton (Lab) came out fighting after MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) accused him of siding with the Tories in voting for £75billion of cuts and tax rises proposed by Chancellor George Osborne.

Mr Beattie said: “David Hamilton worked shoulder to shoulder with the Tories during the referendum campaign – but this vote with the Tories to continue austerity makes it clear that their toxic alliance lives on.”

The Charter for Budget Responsibility published by the Chancellor sets out fiscal rules and debt targets to be followed by any incoming government after the May General Election. Labour backed the plan which was opposed by SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru MPs.

Mr Hamilton said: “This is a cynical pre-election stunt by Colin Beattie. He knows full well that the charter that was voted on was a procedural housekeeping matter which simply committed the next government to balance the books and reduce the debt.”

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