Boris backing MP comes under fire from failed council candidate as he quits party

A Tory candidate from May’s council elections has launched a scathing attack on Southend MP James Duddridge for failing to listen to his constituents.

Keaton Harland has withdrawn his membership from the Conservative Party amid his concerns over “rule-breakers” in Government.

Mr Harland, who stood unsuccessfully as a candidate in Southend’s Milton ward in May, announced his departure on Facebook, where he also took aim at Rochford and Southend

East MP, James Duddridge, for remaining faithful to outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He said: “I know Southend Conservatives do a lot for the community and I will always appreciate that.

“The MPs though, I don’t believe have done enough for Southend and don’t have the interest of the locals.

“James Duddridge is a great man and does a lot for the community, but I can’t support him from his support to Boris and not listening to the people of Southend.”

Mr Harland, added: “I have nothing against Southend Conservatives but on a national level I couldn’t deal with the lies.

“With the amount of lies and corruption I can’t see it being changed round.”

Dan Nelson, chairman of the Southend Conservative Association, said: “We are sad to see Keaton leave as a member.

“I have since been in contact with Keaton and he has his reasons, which I don’t agree with, but must respect.”

Mr Duddridge, who was recently moved from Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and Government Whip, added: “I wish Mr Harland well.

“He is a top bloke. My friends cannot all be Conservative voters. Life would be very boring if that was the case.”


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter