Local newspaper complains MP is doing too much

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A rather unusual complaint:

Most local newspapers actively drive for their MPs to spend less time in Westminster and more time engaging with their constituents, but one weekly paper in south London has taken the rare step of asking its Conservative MP to stop launching petitions and bothering voters.

This unusual situation now means that Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, is facing a “Campaign to end all campaigns” from the Croydon Advertiser. In frustration at his persistent attempts at headline-grabbing, the weekly paper is calling on Mr Barwell to “stop launching campaigns”…

According to Glenn Ebrey, the paper’s editor, the “tongue in cheek” criticism has a serious side. Mr Barwell’s near constant agitating might have become a “bit of a running joke”, he said, but “it raises a serious issue about politicians being, shall we say, more proactive when an election is on the horizon…

“This is possibly the first time a local paper has attacked an MP for working too hard,” Mr Barwell said. “It’s a light-hearted piece, of course, but I’m working very, very hard. And, since the day I got elected, I go out every weekend campaigning.”

For more on Gavin Barwell’s approach to being an MP, see his book on fighting a marginal seat.

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