At the weekend the Daily Mail came up with a scurrilous story. Frankly, it’s not fit to sully our good Methodist ears here on a respectable site like this. But it can be read here. It was later picked up by the West Briton and their version is online here. Basically, it claimed one of the candidates in Camborne and Redruth resorted to a barrage of foul-mouthed abuse when it was pointed out by another candidate during a debate on the mansion tax that his address in Porth Navas was a £1.5 million waterfront house (with 400 foot of frontage and its own private wood). The candidate had, the Mail alleged, threatened to ‘destroy’ the candidate who brought this up.
The candidate accused was coincidentally booked to appear on the BBC’s Sunday Politics South West show yesterday. He was questioned about the Mail piece and his alleged comments. The exquisitely dressed Martyn Oates put a direct question to him. ‘Did you say that’. The answer was somewhat circuitous. ‘There is absolutely nothing in that article with which I agree’. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would surely have sufficed. Oates then dropped the issue.
It appeared that the accused candidate was reading from a prepared statement as he was looking down and wearing his reading glasses, which he then removed once the topic had ended.
Following official BBC electoral fairness guidance, Oates wasn’t able to name the other candidate, allegedly the victim of this supposed tirade or the party they represent. It was just ‘an opposing candidate’. However, I can here reveal it was the MK candidate.
If the accused candidate did not say what the Mail reported then he’s implying the story was a pack of lies (not unusual for the Mail it must be admitted) but also that the MK candidate, who is directly quoted by the Mail, is a liar. This is a very serious accusation. But one that could also be easily cleared up. If it was all nonsense, does the MK candidate agree? Has any journalist actually asked her if the story is true or whether she was misquoted? Or asked the other candidates present at the hustings if they heard any of this appalling language?
While on the subject, it’s interesting to note that the house under question, designed in 1985 by architect Roger Hocking, seems to be listed in the current 2015 Cornish Holiday Cottages Guide, while in 2012 it was being advertised as a dog-friendly self-catering holiday home.