Bob Looks To Professional PR Consultant To Repair His Tarnished Image

Best of friends - Luke Akehurst and Bob Spink

Best of friends - Luke Akehurst and Bob Spink

BOB SPINK, our local MP, appears to have dispensed with his attack on the local Conservative Borough Council after having failed to gain any headlines. Instead, he now appears to have employed the services of Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Inc in the shape of one of its directors – and Labour activist – Luke Akehurst, who publishes his own political blog.

Luke has begun his sordid mission by using his blog to plant the first seed in helping Spink retain his seat, not by highlighting Spink’s ‘hard-work’ that has cost taxpayers several hundred thousand pounds since his first election; but by rekindling Spink’s old, unsubstantiated, claims about local political corruption when he was turfed-out of the Conservative Party.

In his blog, Akehurst casts his mind back to 2005 when he stood for Castle Point against Spink – and lost. But it appears that both are firm friends. Indeed, Spink has taken time out to be the first, and second, contributor to comments on his colleague’s piece, asking him to ‘come back.’

(One wonders how Spink got to know about the piece – or if he regularly follows Labour activists’ blogs).

This will indeed be a dirty campaign. The pair have conspired to highlight and link to the Echo’s biased piece regarding Bill Sharp’s suspension by the local Borough Council, and, just like the Echo, have not bothered to publish Bill’s side of the story or provide him his right to reply.

Normally, a newspaper would cover the proceedings of disciplinary action against a local councillor, just as they would a court case; but the Echo has just gone to press with its findings and paid lip service to Sharp’s response.

Residents might ask themselves: had the proceedings gone in Bill’s favour, would the Echo have bothered to publish the outcome at all?

Despite the fact that Spink swore to ‘end Sharp’s political career’ when the latter was the first person to highlight Spink’s misuse of expenses; despite Spink using taxpayers’ money to pursue a personal vendetta against an honest, straight-talking, man who has only ever put his constituents first; and despite the fact that the Echo has denied his constituents the right to hear his side of the allegations made against him – the Echo continues to provide its readers with Spink’s press releases and heavily spun articles without undertaking any serious journalism at all.

We recently had Spink mobilising the far-right to assist his political campaign. Now we have a concerted attempt to steal the Labour vote from worthy Julian Ware-Lane (who must be asking himself why a Labour activist is not supporting him).

Spink and Akehurst are right: there is serious corruption in Castle Point politics – but we all know where it resides

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8 Responses

  1. I am glad you highlight the case of Bill Sharp (the John Wayne of local politics) who if his story was ever told might well prove what residents have suspected for some time – that there is a conspiracy between Spink and the Echo to destroy this highly respected man’s political carreer.

    Personally I hope Bill appeals the kangaroo court’s decision and wins but the recent outcome I am sure has not affected the strong support he has amongst his constituents who know where the real source of bullying is coming from.

    “Serious journalism” from the Echo? You are joking aren’t you Ted?

  2. […] Luke Akehurst has written about The dark side of South Essex politics – and the Canvey Beat has written about Luke’s post (Bob Looks To Professional PR Consultant To Repair His Tarnished Image). […]

  3. I do not think that posting a comment on Luke Akehurst’s blog counts as hiring the company he works for; otherwise I would also be guilty having written a few times in the past myself. However, Luke does make some interesting points, and if it really is Dr Spink that has commented then that is noteworthy.

    For myself, I cannot possibly say which accusations are true, and which are not – thankfully I am not involved. However, any casual observer will find the goings on amongst Castle Point’s Conservatives bemusing at the very least. I have heard that they have lost as much as 85% of their membership, and am beginning to understand why. However much hyperbole you may think attached to these reports, clearly they are not a happy bunch.

    As to Dr Spink inviting Luke back – perhaps he wants me replaced. I hope my saying this is unlikely will not come across as complacency.

    • And I have heard that the Conservative party’s membership is flourishing locally after many members protested at the heirarchy’s permitting Spink to continue representing Castle Point constituents as an independent. But, “for myself, I cannot possibly say which accusations are true, and which are not – thankfully I am not involved”.

      Seriously Julian you only have to look at Akehurst;s article to see where the truth lies. Spink commented on it in less than two hours of its publication. Look at the server stamps. And the comments are typical Spink speak.

      The article is pure spin with the only facts being those in the Echo piece which do not support Akehurst’s comments in any way but are used to give his article an appearance of truth. And his link to Spink’s version of the alleged incident with Bill Sharp is Spink’s side of the story which bears no resemblance to the police report which followed no action being taken. Why didnt he link to the Echo report instead?

      Given the fact that Bill Sharp has never been in trouble with the police and yet Spink has previously been convicted in the shape of being bound over to keep the peace who’s version would you believe? As this blog shows, Spink is a serial liar.

      Do we believe that our hard working MP has nothing better to do than monitor internet search spiders waiting for an opportunity to respond to favourable web comments – or is it more likely that Akehurst sent him an email of his article after it was posted and Spink being Spink could not help himself from commenting on it?

      No conspiracy? B*****ks! Akhurst could easily have written this piece around his support for you and the supposed problems you might face with a corrupt local council but he chose to promote Spink and went as far as linking to his odious spin on his web site.

      Please dont let this campaign degenerate into the personal slanging match that Bob wants it to. Move it on to the issues.

  4. Well, I agree that policies are far more important than personalities and I hope I have only commented on the former.

    As to the strength of Castle Point’s Conservative Party – obviously I have no inside track, and my figure comes from an Independent On Sunday article from last year.

  5. Perhaps I can help.

    The membership when Spink was selected included all the members of all the Conservative Clubs in the Constituency. Because that was the Conservative rules then.

    Conservative Central Office then changed the rules which said that the voting membership would be only those who paid a fee of £25. Those who paid a £5 fee were renamed friends of the party, which reduced the number of members but increased the number of Friends.

    The total number equalls the same as it was before.

    That of course does not suit Mr Spink, so he says what he says; but as always it is not the truth .

    Why am I not surprised… !!!

    By the way I find Julian Ware-Lane a very personable and trustworthy candidate – and I hope he gains second place on May the 6th.

  6. Thanks Bill, although being endorsed by a Tory could be worrying ….

    I could echo your comments for Rebecca Harris. Let’s hope it is a clean contest with the debate centred on the respective parties manifestos and records in office.

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