ACCUSED: Ladgate election misleading leaflet
Former Middlesbrough deputy mayor Antony High, Image: LDRS
Two councillors have accused a candidate in the Ladgate by-election of ‘misleading’ voters due to the wording on his election leaflet.
Councillors Joan McTigue and Graham Wilson have both raised concerns after Independent candidate Tony Grainge distributed a leaflet with the heading ‘Tony Grainge Independent Ward Councillor For Ladgate’.
They argue that this suggests that he is a ward councillor already, rather than standing for the position.
Cllr Wilson, who is part of the Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association, has been canvassing for Sharon Platt in the by-election.
He said: “If he is saying he is a ward councillor, there is no getting away from that. He is not an elected councillor and never has been. To anybody who doesn’t know him that would be very misleading.
“I said to him, ‘you do realise your leaflet is misleading, it says you are an elected councillor when you are not an elected councillor, which is totally misleading and that shouldn’t be on that leaflet’. His words were, ‘I will be in a fortnight’. There was no concern and he just drove off.”
Middlesbrough Independent Group leader and former deputy mayor Antony High has endorsed Mr Grainge as he campaigns to become the next Ladgate councillor.
However, Longlands and Beechwood councillor Joan McTigue believes this means that he should have advised him against the wording of the heading.
She added: “Mr Grainge is on record stating that councillor Antony High has been giving him guidance which means he will have seen the leaflet. I would have expected Councillor High to have pointed out that Mr Grainge has made a false statement in the headline, he is NOT a councillor.
“I believe some people will assume they are simply voting their councillor back in again. If he wants to play fair and be upfront ( he professes to be a deeply religious man) a simple leaflet should be delivered before the election pointing out his error.”
In response, Cllr High said: “How pathetic, that a local lad, long-standing community member, fighting to represent his ward has to face this type of political nonsense.
“Tony has been endorsed by everyone attached to local politics because he is the best person for the role as the councillor for Ladgate.”
While Mayor Andy Preston has not come out on his social media platforms for Mr Grainge, according to the council candidate the mayor has given him advice and the pair have walked around Easterside and Marton Manor during the campaign.
In response to comments about his leaflet, Mr Grainge said: “I’m new to politics and campaigning. But what I’m not new to is my passion and devotion to this area.
“I find it embarrassing that some councillors want to make an issue out of something so trivial. I can promise the people in Easterside, Marton Manor, Tollesby Hall and Ladgate Woods that I won’t be wasting my time bringing things like this up and my time will be spent on things that matter.”
Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV