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Conservative MP Lucy Allan has publicly “named and shamed” several people she describes as “bully boys”, “thugs” and “henchmen” – the same people who called her out for ‘sexing up’ a constituent’s letter by adding a death threat.
In an explosive post on Facebook (see below), which she has now deleted, Mrs Allan raged against public officials, including four local Councillors, one former Councillor and Adam Watling, aka ‘Rusty from Dawley’ who sent the original email Mrs Allan was alleged to have doctored.
Mrs Allan publicly named Cllr Shaun Davies; Cllr Lee Carter; ex Councillor Clive Elliott; Cllr Richard Overton; Cllr Paul Watling (father of Adam Watling) as the perpetrators of the “disgusting slur” that she “somehow faked a death threat”.
She also accused the group of hounding her staff, and attempting to “shut down democracy” through “harassment, bullying and intimidation”. But Mrs Allan didn’t stop there.
She described Mr Adam Watling as “creepy” to his father, and followed up by accusing him of being a “stalker”. During her rant, Mrs Allan concluded that she was likely “fair game” for being a “happy, friendly female”.
It is not known whether Mrs Allan or any of her staff have made any formal complaint of harassment or intimidation, or taken this information to the police. This was not mentioned in the post.
Constituents responded immediately to her unprovoked outburst. Several recommended that she let the controversy pass and “stop playing the sympathy card”.
Conservative Party member Simon Langley wrote: “Lucy I would stand up for you as I have done many times this last week or so but honestly this if [sic] getting out of hand now and I’m surprised that the pr guys at tory HQ have not advised you better if they have at all.”
He continues: “So now honestly please shut up about this, let it die down and no one will give a crap in a few months time, if I keep reading messages like this then I will unfollow you and will not be renewing my Conservative party membership in the new year.”
Simon Rathbone advised: “Lucy, I think you should stop playing the sympathy card now. The best way to win people round, myself included, is to get your head down and carry on working for Telford”.
Kyle Jordan Chatfield concluded an in-depth post with this statement: “You’ve fully lost your mind if you think that you’re gonna win a sympathy vote.”
Others were not so generous, however. Ivan Salmons wrote: “More f*cking drama of a woman caught lying. You may have had a death threat but you implied it was someone that it wasn’t. You are a liar, plain and simple.”
Mrs Allan hit back at one Facebook user with “You can’t force out your MP – you can discredit Telford and all the good decent people who deserve better but you can’t force out your MP. That is not how it works.”
It remains to be seen who has discredited Telford more in recent weeks – local councillors, constituents or Mrs Allan, but some are left with few doubts.
Joe Breeze writes: “You tarnished a perfectly good letter from a constituent, to make it look as though it was a death threat/wish… We need honesty, not lies.
“And in honesty, I can say you deserve the sack, and you should apologise to this gentleman.” He added: “This post of yours is foul.”
Within minutes, Mrs Allan deleted her post, and shortly after deactivated her Facebook page. Since the controversy began, Mrs Allan has deleted a total of three of her own posts on the subject (including a video), and banned dozens of people from posting to her page, many of whom claim to have asked innocuous questions about the controversy which has been dubbed #Rustygate.
Just hours before publishing the post, Mrs Allan appeared on Channel 4 News to discuss an unrelated matter of government policy. At the end of the interview, Presenter Jon Snow asked her about the recent controversy. Mrs Allan responded by describing the experience as “horrifying” and asked to be interviewed on the matter. Mr Snow said he would welcome that and invited her to appear on the programme. As ever, we will watch with interest.