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March 10, 2009 12:01 AM

The Lib Dems in Newcastle are to link up with fellow Lib Dem campaigners in other university cities to drive forward the Lib Dem message that their party best represents university constituencies and the interests of students, academics and long-term residents alike.

The network has been launched by Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland, whose seat includes the two Leeds universities.

Other Lib Dem held university constituencies such as Cardiff Central, Sheffield Hallam, Manchester Withington, Oxford West, and Cambridge are also in the group, along with one of the main Lib Dem target seats in the North East, City of Durham.

The group will support joint campaigning on issues such as the abolition of student tuition fees, which according to the Daily Telegraph secured the Lib Dems over 50% of the student vote in the 2005 General Election, as well as identifying joint responses to issues including better regulation of student rented sector housing to tackle bad landlords and anti social behaviour.

Greg Stone, a former manager at a North East university and Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East, said "The student population in Newcastle East is one of the highest in the country, and clearly the student vote will be hugely influential at the next election.

"We will be reminding student voters that the local Labour MP played a major role in the introduction of tuition fees, putting the interests of the Labour government ahead of local people.

"By joining up with colleagues in other university seats, I intend to champion effective solutions to issues such as student housing and community safety based on good practice from elsewhere in the country."