So where was Chloe Smith born ? Are the Tories going to make the Romsey mistake again ?

Like Craig Murray, I don't really care where Chloe Smith, the Tory candidate for Norwich North was born, or at least I didn't care until the Tories started getting coy over exactly where she was born.

Craig Murray points out that the Tories seem totally unwilling to reveal where she was born despite claims in Tory leaflets that she is "Norfolk through and through". If that is the case, we have no problem with the Tory claims, but if it turns out not to be true, much as it was when they claimed the Tory candidate in the Romsey by-election was born and bred locally, the truth could undermine their campaign.

I remember being told when I visited Romsey that a member of the public had contacted the Lib Dems providing chapter and verse on where the Tory had been born. It was a gift for the Lib Dems in the last days of the campaign and hit the Tories hard.

If people think that the Tories have something to hide, that the Tory candidate is ashamed of her place of birth or that they have lied, it really will provide a gift to the opposition parties.

Of course, this could easily have been avoided if the Tories had made clear that Ms Smith was brought up in Norfolk since she was a teenager (true) and lives locally (true). Her place of birth would not be an issue. Perhaps the fact that April Pond, the Lib Dem candidate is a genuine local, with no embellishments, is worrying the Tory campaign ?

Update: Apparently she is from Colchester. So why so coy ? Why have the Tories allowed something that is not an issue become an issue ? Poor campain mangement. Is Grant Shapps in Norwich ?

Update 2 : No, she is from Kent.


Anonymous said...

It's odd because nobody cared Ian Gibson was from Scotland. Why are the Tories making themselves look so stupid ?

Stephen W said...

I’m a bit puzzled by this post. I don’t think the Tories have made any claims about where Chloe was born. You’ve very helpfully posted all their leaflets on your blog, but I can’t see anything that says she is “Norfolk born and bred”. They only say she’s “Norfolk through and through” or that she “grew up” here.

Have you had another leaflet you haven’t shared with us?

Unknown said...

Indeed. Now ammended my posting to reflect this. Still, where was she born that is so worth hiding.

Anonymous said...

Surely to god she's not from Suffolk !

Unknown said...

Watch it. My wife is from Suffolk.

Rose said...

She was born in Colchester now can we please leave it ! Whats it got to do with any of you ?

And before you ask she is a very good friend of mine. When anyone of you have worked as hard as Chole for Norwich come back to me.

Mark Thompson said...

I am not a fan of this sort of tactic. Does it really matter where she was born?

If I ever want to apply for a seat at some point in the future need I only apply to "West Lancashire" where Ormskirk is situated?

Unknown said...

So why are her Tory minders trying not to reveal it is Colchester ?

Rose, you need to ask Chloe why those advising her are causing these peoblems.

As for what it has to do with us, the Tories made it an issue and I am a constituent. We have the right to know all sorts of things about those who want to represent us.

Stephen Glenn said...

No Mark you don't, but I fully expect you to be transparent about it. I've hardly hidden where I come from, for a start the accent gives it away, but am proud of the fact I chose to live in West Lothian and have done so the past 8 years.

And Nich you are quite right if a party is trying to portray someone as being 'more' local than they are rather than accepting that in this day an age a lot of us migrate it does become an issue.

crewegwyn said...

Great chunks of the Crewe & Nantwich byelection last year were devoted to a three-way armwrestle (with maps) proving who was born/ raised/ lived locally, or had the strongest local connection.

Since there was little to choose :-

Lib Dem - lived the closest of the three main candidates, but over the county boundary

Con - lived in the county, but a little further away

Lab - lived a long, long way away - but her mum had been the MP for 30+ years, so not exactly a stranger;

it all became a deeply futile argument, a waste of paper and an annoyance to the public.

I hope lessons have been learnt!

Anonymous said...

Oh for God's sake NB just leave it. You are becoming a real Tory Basher and a bore.

Unknown said...

Oh for gods sake row a pair and put your name to your comments !

Read the article in full. it was not a party bashing issue. It was wtitten to highlight a particular issue and a mishandling by Tory minders.

Dan said...

Should we insist all candidates do the "how Norfolk are you" test on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

She lives in the centre of Norwich, just outside the constituency border, grew up in the town, and went to Swaffham comprehensive school, where she is a school governor.

Her parents and grandparents also live locally. One of her grandmothers still works, commissioning and marketing postcards. Her father was a furniture maker, her mother was a state schoolteacher, and one grandfather was a vicar. (Independent)

Anonymous said...

She sounds dedicated to Norwich so I don't know why the fuss.

If you live in or around London you would get a foreigner who had come to settle here and take advantaged, then what would you say?

Count your blessings!