How do you deal with the problem of a safe Tory seat? What happens when you find yourself in a town where the Tories have been in control since time immortal and have a huge majority?
A) Move town
B) Cry into your hanky
C) Do something about it
Well if you’re unfortunate enough to be the Tory MP of East Worthing & Shoreham in West Sussex then you know the answer is C.
A page on Facebook has appeared entitled ‘Tim Loughton Exposed‘.
The creator is tackling the forementioned problem head on despite all the odds being against them.
The page is highlighting everything that is wrong with a Tory government and specifically everything that is wrong with the local MP, Tim Loughton and sharing the content on social media locally in an attempt to change opinion.
Oddly enough Tim Loughton may have answered ‘A’ above, move town, as the post at this link explains. Tim Loughton just after being re-elected in 2015 told a local resident to ‘get out of town’ if she didn’t like the result.
It’s not the first time the local MP has got into hot water, with previous comments against the gay community where he compared gay people to child abusers and comments that implied that only a straight couples could reasonably be expected to produce well rounded children. Even single mums were implicated in the negative along with families where the parents were out of wedlock. You won’t be surprised to learn that Tim Loughton voted against gay marriage but did complain that straight couples were not treated equally to gay couples in regards to civil services. Go figure!
As recently as last week Loughton referred to left wing political opponents as “scumbags” and has been reported to the parliamentary standards commity by several local residents for those comments.
As well as the usual crimes such as voting for ESA cuts to the vulnerable and disabled Tim Loughton has been highlighted for his wish to lower the duty on wines and spirits saying that high wine tax was a “burden” on people trying “to make ends meet”. Sod the disabled then Mr.Loughton? As long as you’ve got your priorities right that’s all that matters. Perhaps the fact he is the senior member of the all parliamentary wines and spirits club may have something to do with it.
One resident has started a petition to remove Tim Loughton and two other local MP’s from their positions as vice chair and pastors to ‘Coastal West Sussex MIND’ part of the well known mental health charity. A statement on their website states their positions are being reviewed in April.
Perhaps the biggest story though, certainly for locals, is the allegation that he claimed for travel expenses when attending a local memorial service shortly after the Shoreham Airshow disaster, the second most fatal aircrash in the history of airshows in the UK. Perhaps a moral question more than one of legality.
According to reports on the page Mr Loughton claims he walked from his office in Shoreham which he clearly did not claim for and then later travelled to Worthing by car, a six mile journey, for which he claimed… 12 miles. That is according to official parliamentary expenses documents.
The allegation is that the 12 miles is the round journey from Worthing to Shoreham for the memorial and back again. 12 miles. Although Mr Loughton denies that, there is one resident on the page that claims to have seen Mr Loughton arrive at the memorial in a car (remember he said he had walked) and then leave in his car again. Mr Loughton it seems has not addressed this part of the allegation leading to locals believing that he did indeed claim for the trip to the memorial service.
So, is this the way to go if you live in a Tory Safe seat? Tackle the man (or woman) as well as the policies? Perhaps it’s the only way. If a Tory has managed to keep the constituency through the Thatcher years, the John Major years and three terms of Blair… it makes you wonder what would move a town to change the habit of a lifetime.
But as they say…”if you don’t try…”