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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Blair opponent urges Iraq apology
Reg Keys
Mr Keys polled more than 4,000 votes in Sedgefield
The father of a soldier killed in Iraq who stood against Tony Blair called on him to apologise to the families of those killed during the war.

Reg Keys stood as an independent against Tony Blair in the Sedgefield constituency, polling 4,252 votes.

He dedicated his election campaign to the British servicemen who have died since the start of the war in 2003.

Mr Keys said he hoped that the Prime Minister would also visit injured soldiers in hospital.

Mr Keys' son, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, 20, from north Wales, was one of six Red Caps killed by a mob in June 2003.

If weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, I would have grieved but not campaigned
Reg Keys
Speaking after the result was declared, Mr Keys said: "I hope in my heart that one day the Prime Minister will be able to say sorry, he will say sorry to the families of the bereaved and one day the Prime Minister will feel able to visit wounded soldiers in hospital.

"Fighting this campaign has not been an easy task for me, but I had to do it for my son Thomas, who was sent to war under extremely controversial circumstances.

"If this war had been justified by international law I would have grieved but not campaigned.

"If weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, again I would have grieved but not campaigned."

Elsewhere in Wearside, Labour held onto its seats, but the Liberal Democrats made inroads into the majority of many constituencies.

However, despite a 12.5% swing in their favour, they failed to take Durham, one of their main target seats.





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NORTH EAST SCOREBOARD
Party Seats + - Net
LAB 28 0 0 0
LD 1 0 0 0
CON 1 0 0 0
Others 0 0 0 0
30 of 30 seats declared


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