Brighton Conservative candidate brushes off Green rival’s question over donor’s influence

Posted On 10 Apr 2015 at 7:21 pm

A Green candidate in the general election has questioned whether his Conservative rival has been swayed by two donations from a Brighton land owner.

The suggestion – made by Davy Jones who is standing in Brighton Kemptown – has been dismissed by Simon Kirby, the Tory who won the seat from Labour five years ago.

Davy Jones

Davy Jones

Mr Jones said that he had been active in the various Save our Deans campaigns since they started.

He said that Mr Kirby had opposed the plans for Meadow Vale and some other developments in the area.

But he had stayed silent on the prospect of plans for housing at Badgers Walk, off Ovingdean Road.

Mr Jones wrote about the way that the land had been cleared recently as if being made ready for building.

And he said that the owner of the land at Badgers Walk, Peter McDonnell, appeared to have twice given £2,000 to Mr Kirby’s campaign in the past year. At £4,000 he was the biggest single donor.

He said: “Simon Kirby’s Ovingdean constituents will be asking whether he will is fighting their corner or pushing the interests of developers and landowners looking to build on our cherished downland.”

Mr Kirby said: “I am always grateful to the many local people who have been impressed enough by my work as the local MP to donate to my campaign but I am always clear that a donation to my campaign does not confer any influence over my decisions on issues.

“My view on development – right across the constituency – has been incredibly clear and consistent.

“I will always oppose inappropriate development and have made it very clear that my view is that the council, who decide on planning issues, should be looking at brownfield sites and city centre sites before even considering greenfield sites in areas like Ovingdean.

Simon Kirby

Simon Kirby

“I have proved in the past my dedication to supporting local residents on this issue through my campaign against the proposals at Meadow Vale.

“I have also met with the organiser of the Save Longhill Wood campaign group to offer my support to the campaign and have been advising and assisting the campaign.

“I raised the concerns of local residents regarding the clearance at Badgers Walk on a number of occasions.

“Additionally, from correspondence I have had from the city council, I understand that no planning applications have been submitted for Badgers Walk.

“Should such an application be made and local residents felt it inappropriate I would of course, as I have always done, stand alongside residents.

“As someone who has worked incredibly hard to protect green spaces, it is disappointing that other candidates, for political reasons, would seek to misrepresent my position.”

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    It is sad when candidates of all parties have to start making insinuations about others rather than promoting their own talents.

    Mind you, it must be difficult if you don’t have any real track record of accomplishments in business or political life to present to the voting public.

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