chrismceleny's Blog

Breaking: Politician sends email about politics


You may have read today in the Greenock Telegraph that I’ve allegedly infringed rules regarding email use. Below i will set out the facts of the situation.

I was made aware in November that Labour’s MP for Inverclyde was emailing and writing to constituents telling them that the NHS in Scotland was under threat from the SNP. You will remember that Labour campaigned during the referendum telling us that a no vote was the only way to ensure the safety of the NHS.

Therefore when I was informed by constituents that our local Labour MP was now campaigning on the exact opposite I thought it was my duty to highlight this to the wider Inverclyde public who aren’t active on social media. Labour were either lying to us during the referendum or lying to us now.

On 25th November 2014 I issued a press release to the Greenock Telegraph highlighting the hypocrisy of the local Labour Party pertaining to a service everyone in Inverclyde holds close to their hearts – that is the NHS.

The Greenock Telegraph forwarded this press release to the office of Labours Iain McKenzie MP for Inverclyde. Our Labour MP was given the opportunity to defend his outlandish claims regarding the NHS. It is believed that he passed this email onto our local Labour Leader to scrutinise. At this point Labour have deemed that the email breaches a section of the councillors code of conduct and reported me to the councils monitoring officer.

Now those that are IT literate will be aware that an email costs nothing to send. As the leader of the opposition in Inverclyde council when I receive overwhelming representations on social media I believe that I am duty bound to highlight these concerns to the wider public in our area. This was the course of action I undertook.

However in the event that I did breach a part of the code of conduct – a code that perhaps no longer reflects the nature of modern political life – then I apologise and endeavour not to do so again.

So to summarise the local Labour Party have reported me for sending an email that was of a political nature. It is nothing more than a stunt to distract from their own record in office. Let’s remind ourselves for the benefit of doubt:

– our MP renting a property from a fellow Labour MP at the cost of £1000s to the tax payer.

– a kitchen upgrade at a cost of £3000 to the taxpayer.

– Travelling expenses claimed by our Labour council Leader since 2008 of nearly £10,000 ( compared to my £0)

– The council leader using his council mobile phone as an official phone of the better together campaign.

Labour are a party in Inverclyde who have no policy issues to attack the SNP on as they are the ones in control of the council. Therefore what we are seeing on a more regular occurrence is personal attacks (verbal+written)on members of the SNP locally.

You will be well aware of the massive budget black hole Labour run Inverclyde faces. Perhaps Labour should put more effort into working with the SNP to ensure our frontline public services are protected and provide an administration people want and deserve!