February 21, 2022 7.30 pm

Council official told MP Boris Johnson ‘wasn’t welcome’ in Grimsby

PM’s trip to Scartho was cancelled

By Local Democracy Reporter

MP Lia Nici claims she was told by council staff the Prime Minister was not welcome to Scartho during his visit to Grimsby.

Boris Johnson didn’t take part in a planned trip to Scartho while visiting North East Lincolnshire last Thursday.

It was originally thought this was due to his schedule overrunning.

However, the Grimsby MP says she was told by a senior council official they didn’t want to see him around the ward, where a by-election was taking place.

North East Lincolnshire Council has issued a new statement on the visit.

Mr Johnson toured Hilton Seafood factory on his unexpected visit last Thursday.

A stop had then been planned to the Park ward in Scartho, where he would meet local volunteers and residents.

Mrs Nici says she was contacted twice by a council official about it hours before it was due to happen.

“He told me that he had heard rumours the PM was coming and did not want to see him anywhere near Park Ward,” she said.

“It was made absolutely clear that the PM was not welcome.

“To avoid any confrontation with the council I advised the PM’s team to not go to the ward.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “The authority had rightly not been involved in any of the original arrangements to facilitate the overall visit. This was made clear in the statement released on Friday.

“However, it was informed at short notice of plans for the Prime Minister to make a brief stop in the Park Ward, where a by-election was taking place on the same day.

“Having received the information, the authority wanted to clarify certain elements of this part of the visit.

“This resulted in the original plans being altered and with time being tight, this planned visit did not go ahead.

“It is understood that the Prime Minister was disappointed not to have had this opportunity.

“North East Lincolnshire Council was pleased to see how the Prime Minister’s visit had once again put the town and the wider borough into the spotlight with regards to the Levelling Up agenda and the challenges and opportunities that we have.”

The Park ward by-election was won by the Conservative candidate Marian Boyd.