General Election 2017

New Labour MP for Lincoln Karen Lee joined The Lincolnite for an interview one week on from her general election win.

Karen visited the newsroom on the afternoon of Friday, June 16, directly from a meeting with Lincolnshire West CCG and partners about the proposed closure of the city’s walk-in-centre.

She spoke about the concerns she raised with health bosses, and told reporters what her first week in Parliament was like.

Watch the interview in full:

Five things we learned

  1. Karen has promised to continue working as a nurse at Lincoln County Hospital on a bank staff contract. She will work monthly shifts and the money she earns through this role will be donated to food banks and other local charities.
  2. She will stand down from her role as Carholme ward city councillor. A by-election for the ward will be held at a later date.
  3. Once the logistics of setting up her new London office are finalised, Karen will be scheduling regular surgeries in the local community, including new surgeries at the city’s two universities, in order to hear the comments and concerns of the city’s student population.
  4. First on her list of priorities is campaigning for a medical school for the county.
  5. After calling a meeting with Lincolnshire West CCG and partners, she is promising to continue to raise concerns of local residents over the potential closure of the Lincoln Walk-In-Centre.

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.

Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy has decided to step down from his position as Northern Powerhouse minister, despite being offered the position again by the government.

The Conservative comfortably retained his parliamentary seat at the general election on June 8, increasing his majority to over 12,000.

He was appointed as Northern Powerhouse minister in July 2016.

He posted on his Instagram account: “Was a privilege to be asked to continue serving in my role in government as a minister, but I have reluctantly decided to step down and leave the government.

“I thank the prime minister for offering me this role again but I have decided to pursue other challenges.

“She continues to enjoy my full support from the backbenches.”

Speaking to Lincolnshire Reporter shortly after his re-election, Percy criticised the Labour Party’s campaign, claiming it was the most dishonest one he had ever seen, even comparing it to Donald Trump across the Atlantic.

He said: “I’m very sad actually that four out of 10 people in this country appear to have voted for Jeremy Corbyn.

“I think that’s dangerous.

“I’m very disappointed people have voted this way but of course people are never wrong so we accept the result.

“I backed Theresa May as leader. I thought she was the right person – I still think she’s the right person.

“She’s a good prime minister. She’s a genuinely nice woman and there’s not a lot of genuinely nice people in Parliament.”

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