Conservative General Election candidate condemns 'disgraceful' colleagues at election hustings

The Conservative candidate for Tiverton and Minehead has slammed colleagues as “disgraceful” during an election hustings event.

The comments were made at Tiverton High School on Wednesday, June 19.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, the Conservative candidate, expressed his frustration: “I spent 23 years fighting, sometimes my own party, more than I fought anyone else. Across the country, some of my colleague’s behaviour has been absolutely disgraceful, and I have no qualms in saying that.

“MPs live a life of service, that's what we are here to do. Your job is to look after you, no matter if you lose your holiday or your Sunday as the weeks go by. You have got to get back to your constituency and deal with those situations.

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“That contract in a lot of seats between the MP across the parties has gone, and we've got to get that back. I would like to see the higher quality people coming forward.”

He continued, “Over 23 years I've seen it change and not for the better, but we can get it back and I think all of us need to make sure that we live to the highest standards and not do things like look at tractors in the House of Commons and other things, and make sure that we live for what we're meant to do, which is service.”

Liddell-Grainger emphasised the importance of adhering to high standards: “I firmly believe that the job I do is not only very serious but one which should be taken very seriously.

“Behaviour of colleagues, and I'm not just talking about my colleagues, but other colleagues in the House, is simply unacceptable. The highest standards of public life should always be adhered to and that is why I am continuing to try to go on as an MP and I'm standing here as a candidate because I think there’s a job to be done.”

Rachel Gilmour, the Liberal Democrat candidate, stressed the importance of accessibility and trust: “If elected as MP, the most important thing for me would be you, and accessibility from you to me. Without accessibility, without holding surgeries, replying to emails, telephone calls, the compact between constituents and their representatives is lost and it becomes meaningless.

“I pledge to you tonight that if elected, you will be the most important people in my life except for my husband and four children, and I will hold those surgeries, answer telephone calls, reply to emails, and I will be honest with you about what happens in this constituency, and I will not be taking your trust for granted.”

Other candidates standing in the election are Jonathan Barter for Labour, Laura Buchanan for Green, and Frederick Keen for Reform.