Lang 'colluded' in plot to smear John Smith

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The Independent Online
Ian Lang, Secretary of State for Scotland, colluded in a plot to discredit the late John Smith over the activities of Labour-controlled Monklands District Council, the Commons was told yesterday, writes Stephen Goodwin.

Helen Liddell, who succeeded Mr Smith as MP for Monklands East, said she had evidence showing the council had been targeted because of its links to the Labour leader.

Labour suspended 17 councillors in Monklands after accusations of corruption and the Government called a debate on local government yesterday hoping to embarrass Labour over the issue.

However, Mrs Liddell cited faxes she said came from a Tory supporter in Monklands, John Love. One to Scottish Conservative Central Office sought advice for a complaint at Mr Smith's surgery. She said this showed Mr Lang, who keeps close links with the office, was aware of the activities and colluded in the "plot".