POLITICAL rivals contesting the Stretford and Urmston seat tore straight into each other less than day after Gordon Brown fired the election starting pistol.

Both Labour’s Kate Green and the Tory’s Alex Williams welcomed the May 6 election date formally announced on Tuesday, but also used the announcement to attack either other’s policies.

Kate, who described the impending election as the most important for a generation, said: “Labour took the tough decisions to take us through the recession. Let’s not throw it all away with a Tory party that would take away support for families whilst offering tax cuts for the wealthiest few .

“Labour has got the big decisions right. Our priorities will always be jobs, prosperity and higher standards of living for families.

“The threat from the Conservatives is real. They would cut support to the economy now – choking off recovery and risking jobs, It is only Labour who will deliver a future, fair for all.

“The choice is clear for Stretford and Urmston, if you value your Sure Start centre, if you want to protect our frontline services, including schools and police from Conservative cuts then give your support to Labour on May 6.”

But Alex Williams accused Labour of using ‘politics of fear’ and ‘scaremongering’.

"We’re getting a great response from residents who are warming to our message of positive change,” he said. “Meanwhile, the Labour party are descending into the politics of fear with yet more false allegations and scaremongering.

"Local people have a clear choice in this election. We don't have to put up with five more years of Gordon Brown or the London candidate he has imposed on us.

“I have a proven track record of fighting for local people and improving local services. That's why I think I would make the best MP for Stretford and Urmston - so I can go on helping local people."