ANNE Snelgrove, Labour’s candidate for the South Swindon seat, has launched her general election campaign with backing from both sides of the political spectrum.

Mrs Snelgrove has received support from former Conservative Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Steve Wakefield, as well as former Socialist Unity candidate for North Swindon, Andy Newman, who is also secretary of the Wiltshire and Swindon GMB Union.

Launching her campaign on Monday, Mrs Snelgrove said she was very pleased to receive backing from the two.

“I couldn’t ask for two better guys to help me launch it,” she said. “I am delighted that we are off to a flying start.

“The important thing for me is that Labour appears in Swindon as a coalition of Labour and the centre, and I am appealing to all sensible, moderate Conservatives and all those on the left to keep that going for the good of the town,” she added.

She said the Labour party would keep frontline services in health and education while also supporting businesses in Swindon to help bring the town out of the recession.

She also said the party would continue with its policies for young people such as creating new jobs, keeping young people in school or college and creating extra places for apprentices.

Coun Wakefield, who resigned from the Conservative party in January, said: “Anne asked me to come along today, not to endorse her in the traditional way, but in recognition of the fact that Anne as been a very good constituency MP for Swindon.”

The Toothill and Westlea councillor, who served as mayor in 2008/09, said she had particularly helped in his wards with issues like flooding in Moresby Close and Benwell Close.

“As my MP she has also helped my family with one or two issues they have had and I am grateful for that and I would say that she listened to small business people and to ordinary members of the public from my ward who have not been happy with the issue over wi-fi and other matters and because of that I’m happy to come along and say to people that yes, Anne Snelgrove has been a good constituency MP and very good for the people of Toothill and Westlea.”

Mr Newman, who stood for the Socialist Unity party for the North Swindon seat in the 2005 general election, said: “I am quite well-known as a left wing activist in the constituency and I have not always seen eye-to-eye with the Labour party.

“But the response of the Government to the recession opened up a really clear gap between two main political parties.”

He said he admired the ‘decisive action’ by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling of bailing out the banks, introducing a car scrappage scheme and cutting VAT for making a real difference to working people.

“Anne has always been very good constituency MP and has done some fantastic case work,” he said.

“Everywhere I go people speak very highly of her so I am very happy to assist her.”

Nominations for the general election close on April 20.