North East Liberal Democrats have hit back over a 'misrepresentation' of words following a Facebook post from a Tory MP.

MP for Middlesbrough and South East Cleveland Simon Clarke has clashed with Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council over alleged suggestions to cut weekly waste collections.

However, Liberal Democrats stressed that the words were a "gross misrepresentation of the Liberal Democrat position on waste collection and recycling."

In a post on Facebook on October 7, the Conservative MP called for residents to sign a petition in response to a screenshot of a social media post from Councillor Tristan Learoyd, with a line reading "reduce general waste collections to every three or four weeks" highlighted.

Read more: High Court showdown with port operator for South Gare access

The Northern Echo: Cllr Carole Morgan and MP Simon Clarke.Cllr Carole Morgan and MP Simon Clarke. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

However, the Liberal Democrats have argued that the words used by Cllr. Learoyd were taken out of context, and the party has "never" called for waste collection timing changes.

Hitting back at the MP, Liberal Democrat Group Leader at Redcar & Cleveland Council Carole Morgan claimed their words were "misrepresented" by Mr Clarke.

She said: "This is a gross misrepresentation of the Liberal Democrat position on waste collection and recycling. 

"Cllr Learoyd called for more recycling and composting which would, if successful, mean the possibility of a reduction in residual waste collection in the future, similar to systems in many European countries.

"At no point did we call for 3/4 weekly bin collections in the current system. The Conservatives have misrepresented Cllr. Learoyd's words, which is indefensible.

Read next:

Get more content including the stories that matter to your community from The Northern Echo for just £5 for 5 months for a limited time only here.

"Our position around waste removal has always been to increase rates of recycling and not to charge for the removal of garden waste and we remain committed to this. We have never called for changes to the timings of waste collection."

Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Alec Brown, responded to Clarke by saying there was no need to sign any petition monthly collections as this was not a Labour policy proposal.

He said: "No need to sign a petition, monthly collections are not a policy proposal from the Labour administration and have never been suggested from us or to us.

"Nor will it be."