Southend Labour candidate condemns Tory MP's lack of accountability

Ian Gilbert, Labour's candidate for Rochford & Southend East, has hit out at Tory MP James Duddridge for his lack of accountability, and refusing to answer constituent's questions.

After expressing his belief at a debate hosted by the Southend Echo, that the UK should leave the EU before renegotiating its membership, rather than his party's policy of renegotiation ahead of a referendum, Mr Duddridge was asked on social media to explain his policy by resident George Gillett. Rather than answer the question, Mr Gillett was blocked.

Mr Gillett said, "After politely asking my local MP to clarify his views on an EU referendum, he blocked me on Twitter. I can no longer view his Tweets or contact him on the website. This sends a clear message that James Duddridge has no interest in listening, or responding, to his constituents’ concerns.

"Ignoring constituents entirely undermines any principle of representation, accountability and transparency in an MP’s work – it’s no surprise that young people are so disillusioned with politics when some politicians have absolutely no interest in representing us. I’m finding it very difficult to find a reason to vote for James Duddridge when he is so unwilling to engage with his constituents."

Ian said, "It says a lot about James' attitude to voters and the people he's meant to be representing, that he would rather ignore them than answer their questions. James' approach to the EU, as a junior minister in the Foreign Office, is particularly relevant to voters. His solution seems, to me, to be the worst of all worlds.'

He added, "The Conservatives have been taking Rochford & Southend East for granted for years. It's clear that they have no plan for a better future for the constituency, and that they have no interest in the lives of the people who live there. If I am elected on May 7th, my priority will be to ensure that this constituency has a responsive representative in Westminster."

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