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Editor hits back after town 'besmirched' by nationals

A weekly newspaper editor has used his paper’s comment column to attack a two-page feature in the Daily Express which he claims “besmirches the good name” of a Cambridgeshire town.

John Elworthy’s comment piece appeared after Express journalist Helen Dowd described, in a double page spread, how she discovered Wisbech was allegedly living in fear from the influx of migrant workers.

“Metal grilles barricade windows, front doors are reinforced, Rottweilers are kept for protection and a virtual curfew operates after dark,” wrote Helen Dowd.

“Wisbech’s town centre has become an increasingly no go area for many residents.”

“Wrong”, replied John, editor of the Wisbech Standard, who described Dowd’s piece as “scurrilous”.

He wrote in his weekly Voice of the Fens comment: “In truth, this was a piece of shoddy journalism that besmirches the good name of Wisbech, the good name of Fenland and the efforts of many hundreds, if not thousands, desperately trying to improve the economic and social wellbeing of our town.

“This is not to deny there are underlying problems associated with such an influx of immigrants but these are neither on the scale suggested nor of the proportion alleged by this newspaper article.”

He said the Wisbech Standard “prides itself on its fairness and is also recognised for the spirited way in which it will root out injustice and tackle the myriad of issues that are presented to it by its loyal and expanding readership.

“It will not, however, ride of a crest of popularism by going anywhere near an article that was ill-conceived, badly researched, unfounded and, quite simply, wrong.”