The Conservative party candidate for Wavertree, Andrew Garnett, admits it will take a “minor miracle” for him to win the constituency in the upcoming General Election.
However, Garnett said that he isn’t giving up just because the odds are stacked against him. He told JMU Journalism: “Minor miracles do happen, particularly with a government as deeply unpopular as this one, and we're optimistic about gaining some seats back on the city council.”
Garnett, a councilor from Buckinghamshire who was born and raised in Liverpool, disagrees with the way in which Eldridge has been attacking London-born Berger on her lack of local knowledge and credentials: “I think it's unfortunate that he has chosen to attack her the way he has. I don't think personal attacks are appropriate in politics.
“At the end of the day it's about policies and about who is going to be the best person to represent Liverpool Wavertree,” he insisted.
But the Conservative candidate then dismissed the
credentials of Eldridge in a similar fashion: “He [Eldridge]
moved here five or six years ago to pursue a political
career and I'm sure if he doesn't win this time he'll be
straight off back down to Bristol.”
Garnett also described the potential candidacy of TV
star Ricky Tomlinson as “an irrelevance to this debate”.
He added: “I'm not so sure that people identify with his
caricature portrayal of what a Scouser might be.”
There has been no Conservative MP in Liverpool since 1983, and much of the animosity towards the current opposition partly stems from the perceived lack of care for the city's economic decline in the 80s under the policies of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
But Garnett insists that the party is much changed since that era: “What has happened is that we have got a young and energetic team in Liverpool, the leadership takes Liverpool seriously.
“We've got the whole social agenda that David Cameron is championing that will bring massive benefits to vast swathes of inner-city Liverpool in addressing social and crime problems that exist here.
“So the Conservative party is a party different to the one that was around in the 1980s. Some of our core values are the same but a lot has changed. The party has moved as times have moved.”
Despite this, the Tories in Liverpool have been undermined by the news of a Wirral councillor being suspended from the party after making an alleged homophobic comment on his Facebook website.
Denis Knowles had described a group of people handing out Labour leaflets in his Seacombe ward as “limp wristed”. The comment has since been removed and Knowles apologised, stating he had never held homophobic views.
Garnett would not make any comment due to the matter being under investigation, but did say: “The Conservative Party welcomes everyone from all aspects of our society, regardless of sexuality, religious orientation or colour.”
Other candidates running in Wavertree include Rebecca Lawson from the Green Party, Derek Grue from the English Democrats and David Brennan from the English Radical party. The Socialist Labour Party is yet to announce whether Ricky Tomlinson will stand in the constituency.
By Hugh O'Connell, Website Producer
JMU Journalism Election 2010
Garnett makes much of being born and educated in Wavertree; meeting David Cameron (pic: Andrew Parsons)