A Conservative candidate has released a controversial video on Facebook in which he criticises the “nuisance” tenants living on the Carsic estate in Ashfield. Lee Anderson is contesting the marginal Nottinghamshire seat of Ashfield, which is currently held by Labour MP, Gloria De Piero with only a 441 majority.
Anderson was allegedly a Labour supporter but wrote in the Daily Mail that he was forced to change his allegiances when “the hard-Left Momentum group pulled up outside my house and hurled unprintable abuse at me”, following his public support for the Leave campaign.
Now, he has come under fire due to his inflammatory and extremist statement regarding the estate. In the video, Mr Anderson states that it is his “own personal opinion” that tenants were “making people’s lives a complete misery”. He added, “These people, who have to live somewhere, let’s have them in a tent, in the middle of a field. Six o’clock every morning, let’s have them up. Let’s have them in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o’clock, same again the next day”.
“These people, who have to live somewhere, let’s have them in a tent, in the middle of a field. Six o’clock every morning, let’s have them up. Let’s have them in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables”Lee Anderson
According to The Chad, there have been a number of reports of antisocial behaviour in the area and residents are stating that the authorities are not doing enough to solve the issues. Nevertheless, the East Midlands Labour Party said that whilst the anti-social behaviour problem is an important issue which needs to be tackled, “The Ashfield Tory plan of forced labour camps is beyond the pale, and shows the nasty party rearing its head once again”.
Rebecca Wain, the Ashfield Liberal Democrat candidate told the BBC: “Housing is a human right and if the Conservative candidate doesn’t recognise this then they are unfit to be in public office”.
Anderson has been strongly criticised for his comments on a number of social media channels. Journalist, Owen Jones, commented: “Ashfield’s Tory candidate is calling for the creation of forced labour camps”. Another Twitter user stated, “What next – make the poor wear identifying badges?”
The Conservative Party are yet to comment.