MP is sorry for ‘snub’ to cull couple

Cotswold Journal: Gill and David Purser claimed their MP showed bias in the badger cull debate by not replying. Gill and David Purser claimed their MP showed bias in the badger cull debate by not replying.

COTSWOLD MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has apologised to a farming couple who accused him of “bias” over the badger cull after not replying to their letters.

Dave and Gill Purser, who have owned their farm at Clapton-on-the-Hill, near Bourton, for the last 20 years, said they wrote to their MP five months ago on the subject of the cull but had received no reply.

In the letter, the couple said that farmers like themselves who oppose the badger cull are not being fairly represented.

Mr Purser, aged 57, said: “We told him we agreed with the comment he made during the opposition debate when he said farmers who support the badger cull risked ‘adverse publicity’.

“We asked him to address points of concern we raised in a letter sent to the MP who secured the debate, Mary Creagh.”

But after receiving no reply from Mr Clifton-Brown, the Pursers said they wrote to his assistant, Jeremy Lilley, first in July and again in September. He promised they would “receive a response shortly”.

However, having still not received a response they wrote again to the MP’s office in October and again, received no reply.

They said they were outraged over the lack of response after he referred to another farmer who was in favour of the cull on his website.

“We consider these to be the actions of a man on the wrong side of the argument and a clear display of bias,” said Mr Purser.

County councillor Paul Hodgkinson said: “It is very bad form. MPs should reply regardless of their own views.” Mr Clifton-Brown apologised, adding that he had replied but the letter never made it to Mr and Mrs Purser. “Out of the thousands of pieces of correspondence I receive, the vast majority are responded to by return.

“It seems that in this specific example a response initially fell through the net. I have now written and provided them with a copy of my original response and to offer an apology for the unacceptable service they have received from me.”


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