SIR JOHN REDWOOD has had to throw out a pair of shoes due to the general election.
In a blog post published earlier today, the veteran politician said that as part of his bid to be elected on Thursday, he had spent time in every part of the Wokingham constituency, which includes parts of West Berkshire such as Aldermaston.
And the effort has meant he’s had to wave goodbye to some of his footwear due to all the walking and driving he has undertaken.
He also expressed his frustration at the candidates who declined to appear at the Wokingham hustings organised by Churches Together in Wokingham and cast doubt as to whether he would appear on BBC Radio Berkshire’s debate, which will be broadcast live on its breakfast show on Wednesday. In it, the breakfast DJ will ask questions from a Wokingham location.
The Wokingham Paper understands that like the Churches Together event, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are both committed.
Sir John wrote: “Over the last few weeks I have re-visited every town, village and small settlement in the constituency. I have talked to people, canvassed and delivered leaflets as a candidate does. From Parkers Corner to Norreys, from Riseley to Winnersh, from Aldermaston Wharf to Evendons I have walked and driven round the area. I have just thrown away a pair of shoes which fell to bits under the effort.
“I have sent out two different leaflets by freepost to every two-person household, and with my team hand-delivered a longer four-sided leaflet setting out what I and the Conservatives would like to do if elected with a majority.”
In a different blog post, he tackled his absence from the Wokingham hustings.
“Having meetings with a few candidates largely attended by their own supporters is unlikely to help an election. I also would like to know why I am being denied the opportunity to answer the false allegations made about me by the Advance candidate,” he wrote.
This comment refers to a leaflet being circulated by the Advance Together party that features a picture of Sir John with the slogan ‘Two jobs John is raking it in!’
This refers to his role as chairman of the investment committee of Charles Stanley, for which he is paid £187,272 a year, plus an expected bonus of £46,818. For this, he has to produce a twice-weekly market review and investment report, to chair the investment committee and to make oral and written presentations.
The Advance Together leaflet also alleges: “He thinks Wokingham is so safely Conservative, he doesn’t need to be a full-time MP. Despite taking the full MP salary of nearly £80,000, he rakes in £180,000 in his second job.
“In his MP job, he’s pursuing a hard Brexit policy that is grinding the UK economy to a halt, in his investor job, he’s advising people to take their money out of the UK because of the economic situation he created.
“Two Jobs John is a hypocrite. Wokingham needs a full-time MP, who puts the needs of their constituents and the country first.”
In previous interviews, Sir John has disputed the claims that he advised people to take money out of the UK, as the column referred to a fund he was working on for The Financial Times and is not Brexit-related.
He also told The Wokingham Paper in an interview last month: “I’m not merely a full-time MP, I regard it as way of life not just as job.
“I live here. I shop here. I go to events here. I’m often around the town and the other leading settlements in the constituency – I’m very approachable.”
For Wednesday’s BBC debate, Sir John added on his blog: “Radio Berkshire have said they want to hold an all-candidates debate. I would urge the other four to accept this offer as I have done. I have not heard back from Radio Berkshire about where it is happening, though I was told it would be on December 11th.”
“Having meetings with a few candidates largely attended by their own supporters is unlikely to help an election. I also would like to know why I am being denied the opportunity to answer the false allegations made about me by the Advance candidate.”
Despite this, Sir John said: “I have decided to continue with my positive campaign, explaining what I have been doing and what I want to see through and do next to make the Wokingham constituency an even better place to live in.
“I am also stressing how we can have a more prosperous country if we get that Conservative majority with the public service boosting and tax-cutting budget we now need.”