THE LEADER OF Thurrock Council has made a withering personal attack on a Thurrock Tory councillor after Essex Police have confirmed they are taking no further action over allegations of “treating” during the Stifford Clays by-election.
Corringham and Fobbing councillor Mark Coxshall went to the police with allegations that Labour Stifford Clays Cllr Sue Shinnick had broken electoral rules by providing cakes for elderly voters before a by-election that she won. Cllr Shinnick is alleged to have handed out the items at the Elizabeth House retirement flats 11 days before the recent by-election.
Cllr Kent said: “Now that the police have confirmed what every sensible person who knew or even read about Sue Shinnick’s actions realised from the first moment – no case to answer – I feel the time has come to speak out.
“Politics can be a dirty business and in this instance it certainly was, but accusing somebody taking their first political steps of wrong doing and bringing in the police is beyond the pale.
“Accusing somebody who wants to do her bit for her community of breaking the law by offering cakes and biscuits to elderly residents is so remarkably stupid, thoughtless and even counter productive that it beggars belief.
“Are our Conservative opponents (and their allies) so short of their own ideas that they have to use a full-time paid politician to try and sully the good name of somebody who simply wants to do good; to help others? Apparently so.
“Having tried to accuse Thurrock Council’s chief executive of illegality in manipulating the election process to allow Mrs Shinnick to stand – and be proved wrong – this party apparatchik took two more steps into and beyond the gutter to try and besmirch her good name.
“I really feel for the many decent members of the Conservative Party in Thurrock, and there are many of them, that they have to work within this mentality; I feel for the Tory leader because I believe he too wants to work for the common good, but who can’t control this unruly child; and I feel for the reporters of this borough who feel they have to repeat these banal crude allegations.
But most of all I feel for those people – of all or no political party – who will be standing as council candidates this coming spring. Without experience of the worst excesses of dirty politics, they are risking having their good names dragged through the mud just because they want to speak up for others less able and because Thurrock’s Tories are unable to articulate anything other than smears and invented stories.
The Tories target the most vulnerable. They won’t target me or my current colleagues because they know we’ll give as good as we get. They will aim their miserable falsehoods at the inexperienced and the newcomer.
I call on all candidates to be prepared, but more than that, I call on local electors to see these awful sick and childish efforts for what they are – the last ramblings of a discredited local political party. Our electorate here is more intelligent than that.
“Finally, and worst of all in my opinion, is that the idiots hatching these moronic pranks actually think they’re funny. They laugh at good people’s discomfort like naughty schoolboys. They try (and thankfully fail) to ruin people’s determination to help their communities better themselves”.