The article quoted below has been published on the Facebook Page of Dartford UKIP. In this article, Dartford UKIP write ‘Local blog, ‘Dartford Matters’, published the smears here: http://dartfordmatters.com/?p=4635‘
Just to clarify several points regarding this article and Dartford Matters / Dartford UKIP:-
- This editorial was published the day after the Brent and Littlebrook by-elections. It includes the sentence ‘ It appears that these by-elections were called by UKIP, presumably in an attempt to win the seats on the back of a rise in popularity nationally.’ The key word, I believe, here is ‘appears’. I still consider that this was a fair assessment based on the information available at that time. I can confirm that at the time of writing the editorial, I had been informed that the by-elections had been called by Mr Leadbeater. However, I had not seen anything official in this respect and therefore, did not include this in the editorial.
- It is not clear to me whether Mr Leadbeater is at present (or at the time of the by-elections) a member or supporter of any political party in Dartford. Perhaps Dartford Conservatives, Dartford UKIP or any other political party in Dartford may care to enlighten me.
- In the comments section of this article, Elizabeth Jones states ‘Thanks Diane Marsh! Please be kind enough to post this on your Facebook page.We sent it to EVERY media outlet and guess what?No one published….‘. Whilst I can not speak for other media outlets, I can confirm that this post has NOT been previously sent to Dartford Matters.
- On 21 September last year, the day after Elizabeth Jones was selected as UKIP’s Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford, UKIP Dartford were offered the chance for her to do a Q and A with Dartford Matters. Despite an initial suggestion that Dartford UKIP would be keen to participate, no further response has been received. You may remember in the past, Simon Thomson, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate, was happy to take part in a similar exercise with Dartford Matters shortly after his selection. For the record these were the questions sent to Dartford UKIP -
- Have you had any connection or experience with Dartford in the past?
- What do you consider to be Dartford’s best asset?
- Dartford town centre and particularly the redevelopment of Lowfield Street has long been a concern to many residents. Dartford Labour are at present conducting a survey about what residents views are. What do you feel could or should be done to benefit the town centre?
- The debate about a future Lower Thames Crossing, particularly if this is to be at Dartford, has dragged on. What are your views about this, where any new Crossing should be situated and any points on how to avoid traffic gridlock around Dartford which often follow when there is trouble approaching the Tunnel?
- A lot of houses are being or are proposed to be built in the Borough. Do you feel that there are too many, not enough or the amount is about right?
- The Paramount Park project has the possibility of bringing a lot of jobs to the area both during and after construction. What are your views about the project as a whole?
- The Government recently agreed to extend Southeastern’s franchise to operate the railway through Dartford and South East London until 2018. Do you agree with this and what do you think should happen beyond this date?
- Are you a supporter of social media and will you be using this to communicate with Dartford residents? If so, how can people keep in touch with you?
- If the proverbial genie in the bottle could give you one wish on how to improve Dartford, what would it be?
- If Dartford Conservatives or Dartford Labour wish to respond to the matters raised in the post below, Dartford Matters will be happy to publish links to their responses.
- In replying to this post, I have noticed several other items on Dartford UKIP’s Facebook Page which specifically relate to Dartford; these were published on 24 January. In the interest of balance, I have quoted these below.
SMEARGATE – THE TRUTH – EX-TORY LEADER AND CONVICTED PAEDOPHILE CAUSED DARTFORD BY-ELECTIONS
Dartford’s UKIP Parliamentary Candidate Elizabeth Jones has hit back at allegations by an unlikely coalition of local Labour and Tory politicians who have accused the party of calling the recent by-elections in Littlebrook and Brent wards.
UKIP had been accused of ‘wasting money on an election nobody wants’ by Labour’s Tom Maddison, while the Tories denied knowing who had called the by-elections, but blamed UKIP’s ‘love of elections’.
However, UKIP Dartford has discovered that the by-elections in both wards were in fact called by disgraced former Tory Council leader Kenneth Leadbeater. Leadbeater, 58, resigned after his conviction for child porn offences in 2006 which saw him narrowly escape a jail sentence. He was replaced by current leader Jeremy Kite.
Local council by-elections can be called by any two electors in the Borough if the local Council fails to call the election itself. In this instance, the election was called by Mr Leadbeater and a Ms Lemesh who is in fact Leadbeater’s wife.
Ms Jones said that it was ‘almost inconceivable’ that neither the Tories nor Labour knew who had called the by-elections, particularly when that person had previously been such a high-profile local politician. She described such information as ‘a simple matter of public record’
She continued, “We don’t know whether this was an amateur attempt at a smear by Tory and Labour councillors who are terrified of the rise of UKIP, or a step towards the rehabilitation of Leadbeater by the local Tory Party, but either way both parties should apologise for their unfounded allegations.
“More importantly, they should come clean about what they knew about Leadbeater’s actions in calling two by-elections when he lived in neither of the wards affected. Would a former council leader do this without discussing it with his former colleagues? We are sure that Dartford residents would be fascinated to learn what links exist between Leadbeater and Dartford’s ruling Tory Party.”
Details of accusations levelled against UKIP can be found online at:
Local blog, ‘Dartford Matters’, published the smears here: http://dartfordmatters.com/?p=4635
Details of Kenneth Leadbeater’s conviction for child pornography conviction in 2006 are a matter of public record, but are covered in brief at http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/933948.child_porn_excouncillor_avoids_jail/
UKIP discovered who called the by-elections using a Freedom of Information Act request. Full details can be provided on request.
For further details, please DM this page.