A Conservative Sunderland councillor has been slammed by a rival after he was found running campaign groups against 20mph speed limits in Wales.

Tory councillor for the St Michael’s ward in Sunderland Lyall Reed was found to be running multiple Facebook groups opposing the reduced speed limit despite supporting it in his own ward.

Cllr Reed, who it is understood was run down by a car as a child, was an admin on four Facebook groups opposing the 20mph limit and appears to have no connections to Wales, Wales Online reports.

But Reed had previously posed for a picture under a sign backing the expansion or creation of 20mph zones in his own ward and regularly posts about road safety.

He told Wales Online: “Across Wales it is clear that a blanket policy of 20mph is unpopular. In my ward I personally advocate for 20mph zones in front of schools and nurseries which are all sensible locations. There is a clear difference between targeted zones and a blanket policy.”

The Northern Echo: Lyall Reed.Lyall Reed. (Image: SUNDERLAND CONSERVATIVES)

He appeared to remove himself as an admin from the groups after being contacted by the Welsh newspaper.

Opposition politicians slammed the councillor for his hypocrisy, and questioned why he was campaigning on an issue in Wales, more than a three-and-a-half-hour drive away.

Sunderland Lib Dem councillor for Fulwell Peter Walton said: “Sunderland Conservatives have been busted for rank hypocrisy of the highest order.

“Local people deserve to know the truth about whether or not Conservative councillors can be trusted to support measures to reduce speeding and keep our streets safe.

“Local Tories say they support 20 mile per hour zones in Sunderland, but are running campaigns against 20 limits in other parts of the country.

“Local people here will want to know what the Conservatives really stand for – or whether it’s the case that in a desperate bid to save their marginal seats on Sunderland Council that Conservative councillors will say anything to anyone if they think it will win a vote.”

The Welsh government slashed the 30mph speed limit on most residential roads down to 20mph in September last year.

The Northern Echo: Reed posed with a sign backing the 20mph zone in his own ward.Reed posed with a sign backing the 20mph zone in his own ward. (Image: LYALL REED/FACEBOOK)

The move has sparked protests and controversy but is expected to cut deaths and casualties by up to 20,000 in 10 years.

But Sunderland Conservatives leader Cllr Antony Mullen has said the campaign in Wales is part of a role Reed holds at CCHQ.

He said: “Lyall Reed is a digital campaign manager for CCHQ, working across the UK to support grassroots activists to run their online campaigns and set up the digital campaigning infrastructure they need.

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“He is a member of these groups to support Conservative campaigners and to ensure compliance with electoral law - not because he has a view on the policy.

“That is his job - it is in no way connected to his role as a councillor.

“Lyall was run down by a speeding car as a child and has a strong record of improving road safety in his ward since getting elected, because it is very personal to him.”