In a remarkable email exchange obtained exclusively by Liberal Democrat Voice, Conservative Parliamentary candidate Zac Goldsmith has accused East Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer of being “utterly blind to the value of the environment”. In return, Helmer has attacked Goldsmith of “disseminat[ing]pejorative falsehoods”.
Here are the key extracts:
Roger Helmer, 20 October:
“I understand that you wrote to a constituent using the following words: ‘Roger Helmer is utterly blind to the value of the environment, and the need to protect it.’ This is a downright falsehood, and is highly pejorative … You are perfectly entitled to take a different view. But you are not entitled to disseminate pejorative falsehoods of this kind.”
Zac Goldsmith, 21 October:
“I must say I’m surprised by your response, given that you have repeatedly gone out of your way to attack me in whichever newspaper/radio will hear you. In some instances, you have responded to newspaper stories that you hadn’t even bothered to check before forming and broadcasting your ‘half-baked’ views.”
This latest exchange highlights the continuing internal dissent in the Conservatives over David Cameron’s “Vote Blue, Go Green” slogan. For example, Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP for Chichester, called action to reduce carbon emissions “morally reprehensible” and Cllr John Gilbey earlier this year, as leader of Canterbury City Council, ordered that references to climate change be purged from the council’s strategy document, calling David Cameron “wrong”.