AN unfortunate victim of the negative publicity surrounding Theresa May’s recent visit to Helston may be local MP Derek Thomas.
Mr Thomas has fulfilled the role for the St Ives constituency, which includes Helston, since 2015 and faces a tough challenge from his predecessor Andrew George in next month’s General Election.
The Prime Minister paid a visit to a Helston business to bolster support for the party and Mr Thomas, yet the trip backfired in spectacular fashion when local reporters were denied permission to film at the event and were shut in a room and only allowed to ask two questions before being ushered away.
The row received national news coverage and was debated on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.
The blunder follows a string of calls for the Prime Minister to be more open with the public and media,
including calls to reconsider her refusal to take part in TV debates with opposition leaders.
However, it could be argued that the gaffe-prone Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott recently provided an embarrassing example on how silence can be golden and how sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove doubt.
From a neutral standpoint, my concern is that Derek Thomas is a hard-working MP who cares passionately about local issues and the matter of whether he should lose his seat should be decided on local issues rather than a bungled prime minister visit.
Sadly, we live in an age when people make judgements about situations that are not directly relevant to local concerns.
I would never want to (and doubt I could) influence how people vote, yet hope voters choose the right reasons rather than being led by lurid and sensational headlines.