A MAN with a cunning plan came to town on Tuesday night to help launch the North Swindon Labour election campaign.

Sir Tony Robinson, famous for being the face of TV's Time Team and for his role as Baldrick in the Blackadder series, joined candidate Mark Dempsey and former MP for the constituency Michael Wills for the launch, at the Moonraker Pub.

The star is a long-time member of the Labour Party and was keen to come down to lend his support to the election battle.

After last week’s visit to South Swindon by comedian Eddie Izzard, Sir Tony said he hoped that, as someone well known, he would bring a bit of attention to Labour’s campaign.

He said: “People may see me as a celebrity but I come down here as a citizen. I care very much about this stuff and I want to make a contribution. People can drive others to the poll or write a political leaflet. That’s a contribution.

“I, as someone from the telly, probably get about 30 seconds of people’s attention that I wouldn’t otherwise get and if I can be next to a candidate to help them get that 30 seconds, then I’ve made my contribution.”

The former Time Team presenter believes despite what people say there is a big difference between the two parties which is why the election is important.

"I think Mark is a very good candidate but there is a huge yawning chasm between the Labour Party and Conservative Party," he said.

"There was this myth going around for a long time that there wasn’t much difference between the two parties and it was just about the speed at which they would pay off the national debt. I don’t believe that’s true at all.

“What I would say to people is forget about the little parties. They may have their passions but what they don’t have is the policies or the leadership. The Conservatives represent selfishness while Labour represents investing in people.”

Mark said: “We know it’s going to be neck and neck with the Conservatives. Our case is simple – Swindon can and must be better.

"The Tories simply haven’t delivered and we have a positive plan for a better Swindon."

These sentiments were echoed by Michael Wills, now Lord Wills, who stood down as a Labour MP in 2010 after 13 years.

He said: “It’s important to get out and vote so we get a Labour MP. When we had a Labour government we got schools rebuilt, we got a new hospital and the Blunsdon by-pass built.

"In the last five years there has been nothing.

“I know it has been a tough time economically but it needn’t have been quite so hard.”

However, Conservative candidate Justin Tomlinson, who hopes to retain the seat, said since 2010 Swindon has been growing.

He said: “We have seen 8,100 new jobs created, a fall in unemployment of 60 per cent, £140 million investment in infrastructure, a brand new secondary school and a new speedway stadium.

“I am embarrassed that Michael Wills cannot understand that Swindon is a town on the up.

“This is same old Labour - always wanting to talk down the town.”