TORY politician Peter Greenhalgh backed plans to axe speed cameras to cosy-up to celebrity pal Jeremy Clarkson says Swindon MP Michael Wills.

Now the Conservative councillor, and architect of the plan to remove speed cameras from Swindon’s streets, has hit back saying the MP is living in ‘la-la land’.

The war of words erupted after the council’s cabinet voted on Wednesday to withdraw from the safety camera partnership, which would lead to speed cameras being pulled from Swindon’s streets.

North Swindon MP Michael Wills said he would be the first to shake Coun Greenhalgh’s hand if the speed camera removal plan proves successful.

But in the meantime he said he was ‘living in despair’ at the possible outcome.

“Road safety is the issue here,” he said.

“If the measures result in the reduction of accidents and fatalities then it must be a good thing.

“If it does not then I hope the council will hold their hands up and admit they’ve made a mistake.

“I do think coun Greenhalgh has done this to get in with Top Gear and the Daily Mail and I despair at what this may mean for the lives of some Swindon people.

“I hope to God I am wrong and that I can eventually congratulate him on a job well done.”

Coun Greenhalgh said the move to axe cameras was as a result of evidence that the current scheme ‘simply wasn’t working’.

“Instead funding that would have been pumped into the partnership will now go on to other more effective methods of reducing speed and saving lives,” he said.

“As for Mr Wills’s comments, I have never met Jeremy Clarkson and don’t really care if I do.

“This is about saving lives. It is not about making cheap political potshots as if this is some sort of joke, it’s about lowering the death toll on our roads.

“It’s about time we had a proper debate on road safety, it’s about time we had a proper debate on speed cameras but so far our MPs haven’t supported that need at all.

“This is a very serious matter that needs to be addressed as such.”