Before we brought out our election special, Helen Whately asked us to pull the issue as we had described her new seven bedroom house, with swimming pool, extensive out buildings and seven acres of land and named the village where she lives. Given the high levels of poverty in parts of Faversham and her voting record on the issue, we thought this was worthy of mention.
She claimed we were ‘putting her life at risk’ by revealing the village where she lives. We pointed out that, unlike Boris Johnson, who famously dismissed Labour MP Paula Sherriff’s fears about death threats made to her as ‘humbug’ in a Commons debate, we do take candidates’ safety very seriously. That was precisely why we did not publish her address or that of any of other candidate. We also told her that her address is easily available online and that her husband had registered one of his businesses at companies house, using their home address, some time ago. She told us this was an “administrative error”.
As with all the other candidates, we sent her a list of questions, which she declined to answer. She subsequently told us that she did not answer our questions as she did not think they were “fair”. She did not explain why it is not “fair” to ask an MP about her voting record defending tax dodgers, punishing the poor and needy and voting against measures to alleviate climate change. The other questions which were not “fair” included whether she would put the interests of their constituents ahead of the demands of their party and whether she would apologise for and correct the misleading statements she made on TV.