A TORY MP is “shocked and horrified” after one of his councillors apparently used fake quotes on election campaign leaflets.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, was “horrified” when he discovered a Tory leaflet which suggested the Government was “reluctant” to work with councils controlled by opposition parties.

Chris Walker, standing for the Conservatives in Eastwood Park ward, published quotes from Sir David, endorsing him for tomorrow’s election.

The quote said Government ministers are “reluctant to go that extra mile for an opposition-controlled local council”.

Southend Council is led by a coalition of Labour, Lib Dem, the Independent Group and independent councillors.


A spokesman for Sir David’s office said: “Sir David is both shocked and horrified. The quote is absolutely not from him and the person who made up the quote never spoke to Sir David about it or asked his permission to use it.

“It most certainly does not reflect his views. It is absolutely not the case that ministers do not work with opposition controlled councils - quite the reverse.

“Sir David has a very good working relationship with the leader of the council and if he ever brings an issue to his attention he deals with it and will continue to do so.”

Mr Walker is standing for re-election.

Andrew Moring, Mr Walker’s agent, admitted Sir David never directly used the words he published.

He said: “We go back since Sir David came to Southend.

“He didn’t say those words, but it’s been his sentiment over the years.

“Next time I’ll give him more visibility before it’s published.”

The election leaflet, in a direct “quote” from Sir David Amess, reads: “Unless we have a strong Tory council my ability to fight for Southend is hampered as Government ministers are reluctant to go that extra mile for an opposition controlled local council.”

Ian Gilbert, Labour leader of Southend Council, is “staggered” at the allegations of false quotes.

Sir David reported the issue to the Conservative Party HQ.