Saturday, 23 May 2009

Andrew MacKay Fighting For His Political Life

Bracknell Conservative MP, Andrew MacKay is fighting to preserve his 26-year tenure after an angry crowd packed the Kerith Centre to capacity, in what Mr MacKay described as "a very lively meeting."

Here he is answering questions.

Things got even more confrontational afterwards as Mr MacKay faced the cameras under the eye of the BBC's Peter Henley. A member of the public accused him of misrepresenting the mood of the meeting to the press and others said they were no longer prepared to vote for his party because of his behaviour.

Mr MacKay declared his intention to stand for reelection as he said he was prepared to throw himself at the mercy of the "very fair-minded" people of Bracknell.

Meanwhile calls for Mr MacKay to resign have been growing over his conduct.

David Young of the Green Party says the overwhelming impression he and his colleagues have recieved on the doorstep is that most people think he should resign. He also insinuates that the limited capacity and ticketing restrictions on the Kerith Hall event suggext an attempt to ameliorate negative reaction .

Mark Thompson reports back from the meeting, giving a detailed account of the mood of the event and lists the questions Mr MacKay faced.

He concludes that the result of the meeting is that Mr MacKay's position is now untenable.

Radio Bracknell is in accord, judging Mr MacKay's performance 'unsatisfactory'.

They quote LibDem PPC Ray Earwicker, who has hopes of snatching the seat at the General Election, saying Mr MacKay "made a serious error of judgement in consistently claiming for a second-home allowance. While he may have acted within the rules, he most certainly had not acted within the spirit of the rules."

Conservative leader David Cameron has also indicated his preference for Mr MacKay to go, but said it was not his decision.

Talking to Sky News Victoria Gatenby.

Outside the meeting.


Update: Howard Thomas also says Mr MacKay's position is untenable, and that he expects him to be charged with fraud.

Andrew MacKay
has announced he will not stand again.

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