Former Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has blamed The Lincolnite for his defeat in the general election last week, claiming the most popular news website in the city* did a “hatchet job” on him.
McCartney made these accusations in an interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire, where he said that “any sane normal person” would come to his conclusion.
The Lincolnite completely rejects all the unfounded accusations made by McCartney in this interview, which is the first time he has spoken in public since his defeat almost one week ago.
The Conservative saw his majority of 1,443 overturned by Labour candidate Karen Lee who won by 1,538 votes, more than McCartney achieved in both the 2010 and 2015 general election.
In the interview McCartney said: “Any sane normal person would say they did a pretty good hatchet job.
“When I stood and was lucky enough to be elected and became the Member of Parliament for Lincoln – (it was) an honour and privilege to do the job.
“But I was proud of the fact the I didn’t have to go into the gutter to do that.”
When BBC presenter William Wright suggested that he sounded bitter about the result, the former MP added: “Certainly I think the Labour campaign here wasn’t positive at all.
“They threw as much mud as they could, whether it was truthful or not, to see if some could stick and obviously for some people it worked because they either didn’t vote for me or voted for the Labour Party.”
The former MP was also challenged about his decision to leave the election count immediately after the result, without speaking to anyone from the media, with the presenter suggesting it looked “very stroppy”.
The Lincolnite was the only news organisation to record McCartney leave the count and ignore questions from the media.
“Well it’s turned that way by again The Lincolnite who did that. But actually you don’t have to give an interview to the media. You make a decision whether you do or not.
“I’d not given any interviews that evening at all and I certainly wasn’t going to be goaded into whatever The Lincolnite wanted me to do at that point in time.
“Why would I want to speak to The Lincolnite first after what they had done? So yeah I know what their game was and as far as they got the back of my head as I left the Drill Hall and walked up Free School Lane.
“Well that’s great isn’t it because they didn’t get any comment they could play and they didn’t get anything else from me either.
“My brothers knew what I was thinking.”
Karl McCartney refused to give any interviews to The Lincolnite throughout the general election campaign.
He also chose not to participate in The Lincoln Debate, held in conjunction with BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
The six other candidates all fully took part in these pre-election events and interviews.
As we made clear in the article, we went through McCartney’s voting record and expenses since he became an MP in 2010, to give readers an at a glance look at where he stood on key issues, to balance the coverage provided to the other six candidates.
All the information is freely available on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and the UK Parliament website.
Managing Editor of The Lincolnite Daniel Ionescu said on the same BBC programme: “We ran one single story which was a fact file on his voting record and his official expenses from the parliamentary website for expenses and that was the only story we were able to run about the MP in Lincoln who was in power for seven years.”
Andrew Defty, reader in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln, said in column for Lincolnshire Live that McCartney’s refusal to take part in the debate did not improve his chances of success at the ballot box.
He said: “Karl McCartney’s reluctance to take part in head-to-head debates with the other candidates reflected Theresa May’s unwillingness to participate in TV debates with Jeremy Corbyn.
“Such debates are now an established feature of election campaigns.
“Whatever their objections to the format, candidates’ failure to engage with the media can easily be construed as a reluctance to engage with the electorate.”
*for the benefit of Lincolnshire Media – based on unparalleled social following of 108,000 for Facebook and Twitter combined, more than double of any local competitor.