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Weekly editor faces MP in national TV debate

A weekly editor went head-to-head with an MP in a national television debate about his paper’s satirical campaign.

The Croydon Advertiser’s Glenn Ebrey squared off against Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell on the BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday lunchtime.

Their invitation to appear on the programme came following the Advertiser’s launch of its ‘Campaign to End All Campaigns’ in December, after Mr Barwell began five of his own campaigns within little more than a month.

Glenn, pictured below on the show, told host Jo Coburn the Advertiser had decided to use an element of humour” to approach the issue.

Ebrey BBC

He said: “We decided to take a tongue-in-cheek approach reflecting the semi-serious issue of it.

“We could have gone down the road of getting an opposition MP or candidate to criticise him, but we decided on a satirical, light-hearted approach.”

When it was launched, Glenn said he hoped the campaign would raise awareness of politicians being more pro-active with an election on the horizon.

In response, Conservative Mr Barwell said he had run a number of campaigns since being elected in 2010, including supporting Lillian’s Law, the Advertiser’s campaign to change the law on drug-driving.

He added: “The Advertiser has said in previous editorials that whether you agree with my views or not you can’t doubt my commitment to Croydon.

“The charge is I am working hard to carry on this amazing job I have representing my home town – yes I am.”

In a blog written for the Advertiser’s website after his appearance, Glenn added: “What now for the campaign to end all campaigns?

“Well, for now, we’re going to let it rest. I like to think we’ve made our point and, in fairness, Gavin has taken our ribbing in good part.

“We strive to keep our politicians on their toes and hold them to account – this was just a quirky way of doing it.

“Plus, he hasn’t launched any campaigns for at least three weeks.

“And on that final basis, I’d say our work is done.”

The full blog can be read here.