Lincoln MP petitioned to take part in election debate

Karl McCartney, Conservative PPC for Lincoln

Almost one hundred people have already signed a petition to pressure the incumbent into attending the debates

A petition has been started to get current Lincoln MP, Karl McCartney, involved in a multiplatform debate prior to the general election.

The debate, organised by The Lincolnite, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, and the Lincolnshire Echo, and held just days before the vote, features every confirmed parliamentary candidate except the Conservative McCartney.

Petition organiser Joshua Grinsell told The Linc: “The main reason that I launched this petition is that it is counterproductive to democracy that the Conservative candidate for Lincoln declines to give to the voters his policies and a chance to defend his record.

“Especially considering the bellwether nature of the Lincoln constituency, Mr McCartney should be interested in defending his seat.”

At the time of writing, neither Mr McCartney nor his local party have responded to The Linc‘s request for a statement. However, when first invited to the debate, McCartney did tell The Lincolnite that he had already “declined a number of requests due to diary clashes and, in some cases, the view that the requesting organisations, or other factors beyond my control, do not present a level playing field to all the parliamentary candidates in Lincoln”.

the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, on the University's Brayford Campus

250 places are available for the debate held in the LPAC on May 4 at 7pm. Those interested in attending can register here (Photo: Gregor Smith)

Chairing the debate will be BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Melvyn Prior, and it will be held in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) on the University of Lincoln campus on May 4.

The petition has gathered 87 signatures over the weekend, with signatories commenting that the incumbent MP should attend to defend “the appalling record of coalition government funding of local government services”, the “failure to meet demand for A&E services in Lincoln”, and “his government’s record”, among others.

Mr Grinsell added: “It damages Mr McCartney to not defend aspects of his record which may have been misrepresented or misunderstood, and deny those who may support him an opportunity to hear his vision.”

The Change.org petition can be found here.

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