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Former Tory MP blames local website for election defeat

Karl McCartneyA former Tory MP has claimed a hyperlocal news website was partly responsible for his defeat at the General Election, accusing it of  doing a “hatchet job” on him.

Karl McCartney, who had been MP for Lincoln for seven years, levelled the accusation at The Lincolnite after it published a story about his expenses claims in the run-up to the 8 June vote.

Mr McCartney, left, who lost his seat to Labour’s Karen Lee by a margin of 1,538 votes, made the claims during an interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The Lincolnite, which also carried a paid-for advertisement for Labour on election day, says it completely rejects the accusations which it called “unfounded.”

During the interview, Mr McCartney said: “Any sane normal person would say [The Lincolnite and Labour] did a pretty good hatchet job.

“When I stood and was lucky enough to be elected and became the Member of Parliament for Lincoln – [it was] an honour and privilege to do the job. But I was proud of the fact the I didn’t have to go into the gutter to do that.”

Following the results count in Lincoln, The Lincolnite recorded Mr McCartney’s exit from the venue.

He had also refused to give any interviews to the site throughout the general election campaign.

Mr McCartney added: “Well it’s turned that way by again The Lincolnite who did that. But actually you don’t have to give an interview to the media. You make a decision whether you do or not.”

Lincolnite managing editor Daniel Ionescu went on air to deny Mr McCartney’s allegations.

He told Radio Lincolnshire: “The accusations that he makes are quite unfounded. We ran one single story which was a fact file on his voting record and his official expenses from the parliamentary website for expenses and that was the only story we were able to run about the MP in Lincoln who was in power for seven years.”

On the advertisement placed by Labour on his site, Daniel added: “We haven’t endorsed Karen Lee for Labour. We carried a paid promotion from Karen Lee, the Labour candidate, which is the same as a newspaper carrying a wraparound from the Conservative Party.”

4 comments

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  • June 19, 2017 at 7:56 am
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    The political wrap issue raises its head again with ( unsurprisingly) a member of another party political party accusing the publisher of political bias and with the publisher then having to publicly deny the claims.
    However the md doesn’t put up a very good case for wraps by saying it’s no different to any other paper taking wraps for other parties so there.
    let’s just hope the presumably considerable amount of money these wraps achieved was worth it in the long term and don’t further alienate readers or potential readers due to perceived political bias.

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  • June 19, 2017 at 11:09 am
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    Karl McCartney certainly did himself no favours with his attitude during the campaign, but The Lincolnite coverage was clearly pro-Labour.

    By all means report on KM’s factual expense claims and voting record, but if you’re going to include what you perceive as his “controversies” why not add what he sees as his achievements if you want to, as you say, provide information for the reader?

    Oh and to then constantly be pushing the article on social media several times each day in the run up to the vote doesn’t look great either.

    If you’re going to back a party, fine, but be honest about it.

    And no, I’m not Karl McCartney or someone who voted for him!

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  • June 20, 2017 at 11:05 am
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    Sore loser syndrome?
    Dear Karl. It’s politics, not job for life, so grow a set. Still, could be worse – Sir Hugo Swires in East Devon tipped the trend as a sore winner!

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  • June 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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    With respect, any reasonable person who makes the effort to look beyond Karl McCartney’s claims would conclude The Lincolnite’s coverage was balanced and exemplary. Look at the website and you’ll see all candidates were interviewed individually by The Lincolnite, given an opportunity to present their views and were questioned about them. All, that is, apart from Karl McCartney who chose not to engage in debate with the local media, including a hustings broadcast jointly by BBC Radio Lincolnshire and The Lincolnite. In light of this, the article on his voting record, expenses and controversies presented information in a factual, accurate way for the readership of The Lincolnite. As for not including his alleged achievements, the candidate himself had ample opportunity to highlight any but failed. In short, this smacks of nothing more than an attempt by what appears to be a very bitter losing candidate to blame someone else for his shortcomings and in doing so, to crudely attempt to denigrate and muzzle an independent local media outlet.

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