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'What we need is calm' - MP's letter slammed for 'inflammatory' language

PUBLISHED: 10:29 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 10 October 2019

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

An MP's letter to constituents is whipping up frustration and potential problems on the doorstep after saying Jeremy Corbyn will "surrender to Brussels", a Labour Party councillor has claimed.

Mike Smith-Clare, Labour councillor in Great Yarmouth. Pic: Labour Party.Mike Smith-Clare, Labour councillor in Great Yarmouth. Pic: Labour Party.

The letter, written by Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, lambasts the opposition's stance on Brexit, stating: "Jeremy Corbyn and Labour are surrendering our great country to Europe".

But Mike Smith-Clare, a borough councillor, has criticised the language used in the letter.

He said the situation around Brexit is already volatile with "so much animosity towards politicians".

"At a time of heightened tensions and hate-filled rhetoric, would any politician really think that it was appropriate to distribute such a letter across Great Yarmouth?" he said.

Earlier this year, during the campaign for the local elections, there were reports of candidates receiving abuse.

In April a woman in her 50s was cautioned after a female councillor was punched while delivering leaflets in Southtown.

Mr Smith-Clare said: "It's the rhetoric of attack, particularly with what is taking place in parliament, with the situation building to a head. "It's not needed, what is needed is resolution," he added.

During the 2016 referendum campaign Mr Lewis lobbied for remain but has since said he would vote leave if there was a second vote.

He said the language used in the letter "accurately reflects the choice presented to the electorate".

"Great Yarmouth voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union," he said.

"So it is no surprise that the local Labour Party are keen to deflect attention away from the attempts of Jeremy Corbyn, backed by Great Yarmouth Labour, to deny the will of the people."

Great Yarmouth voted 71.5pc to leave the EU.

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Mr Lewis said: "Here in Great Yarmouth, we have a clear choice.

"Residents can support the Conservatives and myself, who believe in leaving the European Union.

"Or they can vote for Jeremy Corbyn; who wants a second referendum."

Mr Smith-Clare said: "What we need is calm, not inflaming people's anger.

"What I've found on the doorstep is there's been more anger on cuts to children's services, loss of police on the beat, loss of shops in the town centre."

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