|Morecambe & Lunsedale candidates Steve Ogden (UKIP) and Phil Chandler (Green) |
receiving the 38 Degrees NHS petition signed by 1,695 residents of the constituency
|Lancaster & Fleetwood candidates Chris Coates (Green), Cat Smith (Labour), |
Matthew Atkins (UKIP), Robin Long (Lib Dem) and Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative)
receiving the 38 Degrees NHS petition signed by 1,781 residents of the constituency
Morecambe's Conservative parliamentary candidate David Morris has yet again upset his constituents, this time by sending an inflammatory email to a public meeting at Morecambe Town Hall last Friday. His email contained accusations that the organising groups had lied and forged signatures.
Almost all the Parliamentary election candidates from all the major parties were present at events in Lancaster and Morecambe organised by the local 38 Degrees groups to receive petitions signed by local constituents calling for adequate funding for the NHS and an end to NHS privatisation. Morecambe & Lunsedale candidates Amina Lone (Labour) and Matt Severn (Lib Dem) couldn't attend on the night arranged but went out of their way to make separate arrangements to collect their copies of the petition.
Morris: 'I never accept petitions in person'
Those candidates unable to attend sent apologies - with the exception of David Morris who instead sent an email in the abusive style which has become his trademark, and which was read out loud to the meeting. You can see this on video here.
In it he stated that he never received petitions in person, and only accepted through the post those signed exclusively by his own constituents.
He went on to state that he had received a number of complaints from 'concerned constituents' that both the 38 Degrees group and also the Unite the Union group who, he said, had a 'Save the NHS campaign', had been 'generally lying' about the impacts of health service privatisation and government health policy.
He also stated that he had 'received complaints about neighbours and friends signing up people on their behalf' and ended by saying ' Please ensure that your campaigners behave in a proper manner when contacting my constituents'.
Request for evidence
Virtual Lancaster has emailed Mr Morris to ask if he will stand by his accusations against 38 Degrees and Unite the Union of lying and his inference of forgery against 38 Degrees members. We have asked him if he can produce any evidence to substantiate his allegations. We will let you know if we receive any response.
Former Rick Astley backing musician David Morris has a consistent track record of refusing to engage with constituents locally on matters regarding the NHS, despite the local hospital trust having repeatedly failed CQC inspections, being taken under 'special measures' and having recently been the subject of a damning public inquiry.
Last September Morris angered locals by claiming that a group calling itself 'No Health Selloff' was fictitious. He refused to accept any of their invitations. They responded by putting up hundreds of signboards outside their houses across Morecambe (see article and pics).
Later that month a pensioner constituent at his surgery raised the issue of NHS privatisation and Morris walked out of his own surgery claiming that she was 'ambushing' him. He later told the Lancaster Guardian that the hospital pharmacy services were not being privatised and that this was a fictitious campaign by his enemies. In fact the hospital trust had published the tender.
In the same week he launched his re-election campaign with a leaflet on the cover of which he misspelt the name of his constituency as 'Morecame'.
Morris was also the only candidate who refused to attend the Morecambe & Lunesdale Hustings on 14 April. A vacant chair was left symbolically on the platform and, as one person present noted, if ever one picture summed up David Morris' time as MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, this was it.