North Somerset MP Liam Fox has been accused of sending out “a stunning work of fiction” in a leaflet sent to local residents.

Liam Fox — Conservative MP North Somerset
Liam Fox — Conservative MP North Somerset

The document — headlined “North Somerset news from Sir Liam Fox” — makes a series of claims about issues such as the NHS, policing, and the economy in North Somerset.

It also includes misleading testimonies from two people described as North Somerset residents but who are, in fact, local Conservative Party members and former Tory councillors or candidates.

North Somerset Labour Party has analysed the document and says many of the statements it makes are misleading or simply wrong.

“Liam Fox must be so badly rattled by all the recent polls showing that Labour’s candidate Sadik Al-Hassan is well-placed to win the seat from him that he has to resort to dodgy arguments and dubious statistics,” said policy officer Dr David Punter.

With the support of tactical voters, the local Labour party believes North Somerset has the first chance in decades to elect a new MP.

“This latest leaflet from Liam Fox is little more than a stunning work of fiction that bears little reality to the lives of North Somerset residents, showing just how out of touch the current MP and the Tory party are,” Sadik Al-Hassan added.

Labour’s analysis disputes key claims made by the Tory leaflet:

  • Liam Fox says he has improved local high streets – but under his watch seven bank branches have closed since 2022 alone, leaving just three in North Somerset, and pharmacy closures in Portishead are having a devastating impact on the health of residents
  • Liam Fox claims anti-social behaviour has been reduced – yet Avon & Somerset police statistics show knife crime offences have risen by 14% between 2011 and 2023
  • The leaflet says the government has recruited new police officers – but fails to explain that recent recruits merely replace some of those cut in the last 14 years, with Avon & Somerset police losing 549 officers and PCSOs between 2010 and 2018
  • The leaflet celebrates the recruitment of new doctors and nurses – yet North Somerset Labour points out that local waiting lists are at record highs, standing at 64 weeks for urology, 62 weeks for colorectal surgery, and 54 weeks for gynaecology

“The leaflet argues that the economy is turning a corner,” said Sadik Al-Hassan. “This completely denies the reality faced by local residents of soaring supermarket prices, extra energy costs, big bills for childcare, and rising rents and mortgages.”

“North Somerset deserves better than this and deserves better than a part-time MP who spends so much time jetting around the world and taking second jobs that he is completely out of touch with the reality for many in North Somerset,” he added. “If I am privileged to be elected as the new MP I will work as hard as I can to deliver real change and hope to the area, listening to all local people — not party cronies — and championing their concerns and aspirations.”

Labour is also challenging Liam Fox about the money he is spending on election propaganda and has asked him to confirm or deny whether his campaign is getting any funding from Frank Hester, a Tory donor widely criticised for racist and misogynistic comments.

Liam Fox has received £80,000 in donations in the last year alone, whilst the local Labour Party relies on small donations from its members and supporters.

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