A CONSERVATIVE candidate who has missed five public debates has said she’s too busy to go to hustings.
Tory Huddersfield hopeful Karen Tweed has been strongly criticised by her Parliamentary rivals after failing to attend a series of meetings.
Lib Dem candidate James Blanchard said: “I haven’t seen her for a year.
“Once again, the Tories have thrown in the towel as far as Huddersfield is concerned
“At this time, when trust in politicians is so low, it beggars belief that a candidate won’t meet the people she seeks to represent.
“The local Conservative Association should ask Mrs Tweed to either look again at her priorities or stand down.”
The Golcar woman has missed five debates this year. In all but one case, a Conservative party colleague replaced her.
The hustings were:
Monday night, Greenhead College, Tories represented by Ashbrow council candidate Bill Armer
April 22, Hudawi Centre, no Conservative panellist
April 20, University of Huddersfield, Tories represented by Colne Valley Parliamentary candidate Jason McCartney
March 18, University of Huddersfield, Mr McCartney on the panel
February 12, University of Huddersfield, Conservative leader on Kirklees Council Clr Jim Dodds represented Tories
Mrs Tweed explained yesterday that she had been too busy campaigning to go to the hustings.
She said: “I haven’t been able to go to the hustings because of prior commitments.
“It’s very difficult to spread your time out. There are so many voters who have asked me to call round or send them an email.”
Mrs Tweed added she had been “knocking on doors” on Monday night during the hustings at Greenhead College.
And the Conservative candidate denied her party had given up on Huddersfield.
She said: “Have we heck. We’re out every single day working in the wards. We haven’t given up on Huddersfield.”
Speaking yesterday afternoon, Mrs Tweed explained that she would attend last night’s debate at the Methodist Mission.
She said: “The Methodist Mission got in touch very early so we were able to schedule them in.”
Green candidate Clr Andrew Cooper also criticised Mrs Tweed yesterday.
He said: “At Monday’s hustings a note from Mrs Tweed was read out by the chairman of the meeting saying she would not be attending any hustings meetings.
“I believe it is a basic responsibility of someone who is seriously putting themselves forward Parliament to make themselves available to answer questions from electors.
“Each time we attend either there is no Conservative representative or there is a Conservative councillor or member covering for her.”