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North Devon Conservative parliamentary candidate also serves as Swindon borough councillor

By NDJFran  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

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Peter Heaton-Jones.

Comments (9)

NORTH Devon’s Conservative parliamentary candidate has been accused of misleading local constituents about his role as a councillor in Swindon.

Peter Heaton-Jones was elected as a parliamentary candidate for the Tories in February 2013 but had already been elected as a member of Swindon Borough Council.

And one Ilfracombe man has raised concerns after receiving a campaign leaflet from Mr Heaton-Jones which states he lives in North Devon.

Toby Ebert corr said: “I thought it was strange he said he was living in North Devon.

“I knew he was a councillor in Swindon so I went on their website where it says he sits on various committees and owns a property there.

“I don’t think it is right to tell one set of people ‘I live in Swindon’ while telling another ‘I live in North Devon’.”

But Mr Heaton-Jones said he had never hidden the fact that he served as a borough councillor.

He told the Journal he had a house in Swindon but lived in Bishops Nympton.

“These are issues the LibDems have raised before, and I imagine that’s where they’ve come from again,” he said.

“I take it as a huge compliment that this is all they can find to say, and it shows we’ve got them on the run.”

Mr Ebert also raised the fact Mr Heaton-Jones had only attended four council meetings in Swindon since July.

But Mr Heaton-Jones responded: “There have only been four full council meetings since July, and I have attended every one.

“So I should be thanking whoever has raised this issue for highlighting my 100% record. Serving the residents who elect me is something I take very seriously.”

However, Mr Heaton-Jones failed to attend four committee meetings since July.

“Ninety-five per cent of my time is spent in North Devon,” he added. “But, as with virtually all parliamentary candidates, there are previous commitments you have to honour.

“It’s a matter of public record that I was a borough councillor beforehand, and I don’t believe in letting down the people who have elected me.

“I’ve always said I will stand down as a councillor at the earliest opportunity and focus completely on North Devon, and I will.”

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9 comments

  • JohnF2011  |  January 02 2014, 9:51PM

    Sue200 - all I meant was that Nick is better known in North Devon than that Peter Whoton-Genes chap.

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  • Sue200  |  January 02 2014, 1:22PM

    Locally, we have a choice between an MP who knows every corner of this constituency (Nick Harvey) REALLY! You sure about that? As we say here, Nick who?

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  • Sue200  |  January 02 2014, 1:21PM

    "Locally, we have a choice between an MP who knows every corner of this constituency (Nick Harvey)" REALLY! You sure about that? As we say here, Nick who?

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  • JohnF2011  |  January 02 2014, 12:40PM

    The electorate is broadly split 50 - 50 between UKIP-Conservative and LibDem-Green-Labour. The 2015 General Election will be decided on whether the right wing splits (between UKIP and the Tories) or the Centre-Left splits (between the Lib Dems, The Green Party and Labour). Many of us are disappointed by the Lib Dems in coalition Government, just as we were with Labour in Government before it. Voting Labour in North Devon will deliver a Tory MP and risks a Tory majority Government, which would be inordinately worse than the one we have at the moment. Lets not split the Centre Left and let the Tories in. Locally, we have a choice between an MP who knows every corner of this constituency (Nick Harvey) and a candidate who does not know Braunton from Witheridge (though he's pretty good on Wiltshire).

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  • JRussell  |  January 01 2014, 9:58PM

    A pox on all their houses! Vote UKIP.

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  • davephipps65  |  January 01 2014, 7:33PM

    Absolutely brilliant Toby Eberts an unsuccessful Labour Council Candidate and Peter Heaton-jones the Conservative parliamentary Candidate for North Devon knocking lumps out of each other and all the time this is going on Sir Nick Harvey will be laughing all the way to the polls and we the public are misrepresented again, Is it any wonder that come Election day there is such a poor turnout?

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  • ATTICUSFINCH  |  January 01 2014, 5:33PM

    Felixthecat11 - Sorry pal but what you say is of no importance. Whatever Toby Eberts politics are he has raised a point of interest. After the recent and continual scandal that envelopes the National and local politicians of all parties its important that they are challenged on all fronts and dealt with severely when its found that they are fiddling expenses,corrupt or not pulling their weight. As for delivering 50,000 leaflets,if he has,and I doubt the amount,he should be charged with littering and wasting paper and ink !

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  • Sue200  |  January 01 2014, 12:24PM

    I think it's called 'hedging your bets'.

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  • Felixthecat11  |  January 01 2014, 11:24AM

    It's a bit rich of staunch Labour supporter Toby Ebert of Ilfracombe (unsuccessful Labour District Council candidate, 80 votes, Ilfracombe East 2011) to pretend he is a simple 'Ilfracombe man' without disclosing his political affinity when criticising Conservative candidate Peter Heaton-Jones for the fact that he is proving he is not a man to shirk his responsibilities. Indeed, in 2005, his own Labour man, Mr Mark Cann, fought the General Election whilst still a full-time teacher away at a secondary school in Wells, Somerset! At least Mark retired in 2008 so that in 2015 he can fight honourably for his constituency to which he moved and grab all those votes back from the Liberal Democrat candidate to whom Labour supporters (along with the Greens) lent them last time to 'keep the Tory out', unwittingly (foolishly one could say!) electing a Minister to act in the Conservative-led Government! What does Mr Ebert think of what happened there? Peter has only been the Conservative Prospective Member of Parliament since last February. He has already bought a home here and relocated. He has delivered almost 50,000 surveys and campaign leaflets already and without any of the help our MP has with his well-staffed, State-funded offices in North Devon and Westminster. Mr Ebert would see that Peter's election as Borough councillor took place in 2011 and that he also retains his part-time parliamentary job based at Swindon (though much of that is done remotely), providing invaluable experience for his future role. I think many people overlook the fact that a candidate is unpaid and has to still earn a living too (unless he's on a good pension!) - and it's a very expensive role as so many election costs have to be self-funded. I speak from experience! Keep up the good work Peter and if you are rattling the opposition which has to stoop rather low to try to discredit you, you must be doing something right!

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