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It’s the Notts councillor who lives in London and now wants to stand as an MP in Suffolk

15th October 2013 Nottingham Evening Post, Stapleford Community Group, Stapleford Town Council Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

A TOWN councillor has been selected as a candidate for the next General Election.

Stapleford North representative Russell Whiting has started the campaign trail to become the MP for the Suffolk Coastal region – 150 miles from the Notts town.

In June, the Labour Party member was asked to step down from the council after moving to London but he assured people he could still carry out his duties from the capital.

He has now been asked to leave the council for a second time because it is thought that he will be concentrating on his parliamentary campaign and spending even less time in Stapleford.

Richard MacRae, chairman of Stapleford Community Group, said:

“It is really annoying that this has happened because he is meant to be representing Stapleford on the town council.

“In June he said that people can still contact him if we need him but we have found that this is not the case.

“There is nothing wrong with wanting to become an MP but to be able to do it you have to give 100 per cent, which means he won’t be serving Stapleford.

“I think he should stand down and a by-election should be called.

“This would give someone else the chance and hopefully we would get someone that wants to be in the area.

He has just used Stapleford as a stepping stone for his political career and has done nothing for the town.”

Since the start of the municipal year, on May 11, Councillor Whiting has attended only one meeting.

He does not sit on any committees.

He was chosen to run for the Suffolk Coastal seat in September but when the Post asked the town council for a comment yesterday, it had not been told.

Council leader Jacky Williams said:

“I would have expected him to have told me about it, which shows he is clearly not working for Stapleford.

“It is disappointing that we do not have the full cohort of councillors sitting around the table.

“I would loathe to spend residents’ money on a by-election.

Mr Whiting grew up in the area he is standing for.

On his website, he says:

“It is one of the biggest honours of my life to seek to be the MP in the area I grew up in and where all my immediate family live.

Everyone familiar with Suffolk Coastal knows that it has never been represented by a Labour MP.

“It has also never been represented by someone originally from the area.

I am standing in the 2015 election to try and put both of those records right.”

The Post tried to contact him to discuss his future on Stapleford Town Council but he was unavailable for comment.

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