The boss of the South Shields Labour Party is to call for a meeting with the town’s MP over the mystery of a missing letter to the Boundary Commission.
Alan Donnelly, chairman of South Shields Labour Party, is currently out of the country, but says he will return tomorrow and seek a meeting with South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.
The MP says she wrote to the Boundary Commission on December 2, 2016 – the final date of that round of consultations – supporting South Tyneside Council’s opposition to plans to move the Simonside and Rekendyke wards in her constituency into the Jarrow Parliamentary area.
Her submission has, however, failed to appear on the Boundary Commission website.
A number of attempts by the Gazette to gain a reference number – which the Boundary Commission says is issued to all those who contribute to the consultation process – has been met with a wall of silence from the MP and her constituency office.
A submission by her husband – and £14,999,99-a-year parliamentary assistant – Simon Buck does appear.
I will be wanting to speak to Emma in order to gain clarification on the issue surrounding this letter.Alan Donnelly
In his submission he backs the changes to move Simonside and Rekendyke into the Jarrow constituency, saying the area is known locally as the ‘Jarrow end of Shields’.
His views are in contrast to those expressed by Mrs Lewell-Buck – who says she opposes the boundary change and has urged residents to voice their opposition.
Mr Donnelly said: “I am currently out of the country. When I arrive back on Thursday, I will be looking to speak to Emma in order to gain clarification on the issue surrounding this letter and hopefully leading the matter to a conclusion.
“I am concerned about the situation and will be discussing the matter with her.”
Mrs Lewell-Buck and her husband have not responded to questions about the issue – but have made a number of Tweets ridiculing the story carried by the Gazette, and the newspaper.
Former South Tyneside Conservative councillor, Jeff Milburn, said: “I would like to know what action the Labour party intend to take in light of the latest behaviour shown by the MP.
“She has engaged in childish playground behaviour, taking to social media to, in effect, ridicule the people of South Shields, by treating the matter as trivial. Trivial it is not.
“Her conduct is not becoming of an MP and I think the Labour party need to seriously question and consider whether she is actually fit for purpose to represent the people of South Shields on a national platform.”
A spokesman for the MP’s office issued a statement by email last night which said: “Mr Donnelly has made no requests at all to meet with Emma.”