BURY South MP Ivan Lewis has accused local Liberal Democrats of a “big lie” over their claims they have not entered into a coalition with the Conservatives.

Following the loss of three seats at the recent local elections, Bury Council’s Conservative group remains the largest single party, but without an overall majority.

Last week, Labour group leader Cllr Mike Connolly accused the Tories and Lib Dems of striking a “shabby, tawdry and backroom deal” which effectively gives the Conservatives the whip hand. But Lib Dem and Conservative leaders have strenuously denied claims they have entered into a pact.

This week Mr Lewis said: “The Lib Dems are guilty of a ‘big lie’ for the second time in three years. Back in 2007 they supported the Tories to take control of the council then denied it.

“Now, despite only having eight seats on the council compared to Labour’s 20, the Tories have given the Lib Dems three of the four paid positions made available to opposition parties.

“For the second time in three years, Bury is a Conservative/Lib Dem council and will be judged by the electorate accordingly.”