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Row erupts after Tory candidate calls for nuisance neighbours to live in tents and pick potatoes

Row erupts after Tory candidate calls for nuisance neighbours to live in tents and pick potatoes
2 min read

A Tory candidate in a marginal seat has sparked a row after claiming nuisance neighbours should be forced to live “in a tent, in the middle of a field” and pick crops all day.

Lee Anderson, who is standing in Ashfield at next month’s election, said they should be forced to get up at 6am and then put to work all day.

They would then be forced to have a cold shower and go back to their tents for "lights out" at 6pm, he said.

Mr Anderson, a former Labour councillor who defected to the Tories last year, said the proposal would “free up much-needed housing for decent people” and “solve the labour shortage on our farms”.

But the Liberal Democrats accused him of “targeting vulnerable people”, while Labour said the plan was "madness".

Labour's Gloria de Piero retained the seat in 2017 with a majority of just 441, making it one of the Tories' key targets.

In the video uploaded to his Facebook page, Mr Anderson his views on nuisance neighbours was “my own personal opinion, nobody else’s".

He said: “Now people say to me, 'but they've got to live somewhere',  that's right.

“So my plan would be, and again this is just my own personal opinion, is that these people who have to live somewhere, let's have them in a tent, in the middle of a field, six o'clock every morning, let's have them up, let's have them in the fields, picking potatoes or any other current seasonal vegetables.

“Back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o'clock, it’s the same the next day. That would be my solution."

Lib Dem spokesperson Layla Moran said: "Everyone in this country deserves a decent standard of living. 

“Conservative candidate Lee Anderson’s comment exposes a concerning disregard for this basic human right, and a lack of empathy towards those whom he aspires to represent.

"As a Conservative parliamentary candidate in a marginal seat, Anderson should not be stoking and entrenching division, or targeting vulnerable people.”

Mr Anderson was previously handed a four-month suspension for hiring a digger to put concrete blocks at the entrance to a car park to prevent travellers illegally camping there.

He has been contacted for comment.

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