Clash over Tory 'rant' on Facebook

A ROW has broken out in the Harrogate Council election campaign after a Tory candidate branded the town's residents as "rude" during a rant on the social networking site Facebook.

Lydia Blakeley, the candidate for High Harrogate, also attacked Harrogate's "yummy mummies" and a local business.

The comments, made in December 2008, were revealed by the Liberal Democrats and last night Ms Blakeley, who has apologised, accused the party of sinking to "personal attacks".

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Her rival for the ward, Amanda Russell, said she was "appalled".

Ms Russell said: "I have always found people here polite and friendly. I would question whether she is really a serious contender if she thinks so little of the people she says she wants to represent."

The comments, now removed, said: "There are so many rude people in Harrogate. My message is to all of the Harrogate 'yummy' mummies...Just because you have a buggy or pushchair the size of a Range Rover Sport does not mean you have a God-given right of way."

Ms Blakeley said: "This comment was made a very long time ago in a light-hearted group in a light-hearted media, long before I was a council candidate. I have obviously removed the comment and apologise for any offence caused."