The Leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s Conservative Group has accused the Borough Council Leader Stuart Bray of putting ‘pubs before lives’ in an attempt to win votes at next year’s County Council elections.
At a heated meeting of the Borough Council Conservative Councillors had tabled a motion to congratulate local MP, Dr Luke Evans, on being awarded ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the prestigious MP of the Year awards – an accolade previously won by numerous Liberal Democrat MPs.
However Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the motion criticising Dr Evans for supporting local coronavirus restrictions which saw the Borough placed in Tier 3, the highest level of restriction.
Cllr Richard Allen, Leader of the Conservative Group, said “We’re proud of Dr Luke’s achievements in receiving this non-political award, which has been won in the past by Liberal Democrat MPs, such as Layla Moran and Sir Ed Vaizey. It should have been a simple, apolitical way of a congratulating our MP in his first year since being elected.
“Instead Cllr Bray chose to make this a cheap election stunt in advance of the County Council elections next year because he cynically thinks there are votes to be won opening pubs before it is safe to do so.
“The figures show that cases are rising and our local hospitals are under unprecedented pressure, having recorded the highest ever number of COVID patients being treated in Leicester hospitals in the last few days, whilst also trying to cope with high levels of staff illness.
“Dr Luke is a GP who makes decisions based on the hard evidence in front of him and the advice of scientists, not someone using political expediency to find his next Lib Dem leaflet headline.
“Whilst Cllr Bray considers wasting council taxpayers money on ridiculous legal challenges I would ask how many deaths he believes acceptable in his 'pubs before lives' stunt?
“We all want pubs and businesses to be open, but I’m certain Dr Luke, my group and most importantly local residents want that only when it is safe to do so, rather than because we think it might get a headline in the Hinckley Times.”