Candidate accused of making 'derogatory' comment about Scousers

Lisa Smart is the Liberal Democrat Candidate in Hazel Grove
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

A parliamentary candidate has been told to consider her position after making 'derogatory' comments about Liverpool.

Lisa Smart is standing for the parliamentary seat of Hazel Grove in Greater Manchester, hoping to win it from the Tories in next week's election. Hazel Grove was most recently held by William Wragg, a former Conservative who resigned the party whip earlier this year after admitting to sharing fellow MPs phone numbers on a dating app.

But Ms Smart has now been wrapped up in a scandal herself, after being caught on a doorbell camera appearing to use anti-Liverpool slurs when out canvassing for votes.

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First reported by the Daily Mail, it transpires that Ms Smart encountered a woman at a house who spoke with a Scouse accent and was visiting family in the Hazel Grove area.

After the woman said she was registered to vote in Liverpool, Ms Smart can be heard stating: "Ah, understood – so you're just here nicking stuff."

Shocked by the derogatory comment, the woman told her relative, who watched the exchange back on the doorbell footage. He told the Mail that it was a "completely unacceptable comment for a politician to make."

The Lib Dems have already been accused of using an 'anti-Liverpool tone' in their Hazel Grove campaign. They previously described the fact that the Conservative candidate, Paul Athans, is originally from Liverpool as 'yet another insult.'

Mr Athans said: "This is not the first time Ms Smart has attacked my birthplace and it is blatant hypocrisy. I live in Marple (in the centre of Hazel Grove Constituency) and it is public knowledge that she lived in London for over a decade and stood for the London Assembly.

"The fact that she has the audacity to call me an 'insult' for not being born here, when she wasn't either, is disgraceful.2

Speaking about the anti-Liverpool comments, he added: "This supposed 'joke' is reinforcing derogatory stereotypes.

"I hope the voters of Hazel Grove will look at this incident as just the tip of the iceberg that has been the Lib Dem campaign here in Hazel Grove. Their nasty, negative, and misleading campaigning is not good for democracy.

"If she thinks that joking about northerners is acceptable, perhaps she should consider her position."

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson told the ECHO: "Lisa is genuinely mortified that she unintentionally caused offence: she has since returned to the address and given a fulsome apology."

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