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Ilam Labour Candidate Disappointed at Brownlee’s ‘No Show"

Ilam Labour Candidate Disappointed at Gerry Brownlee’s ‘No Show’ at Election Debates

Gerry Brownlee, National MP for Ilam, is declining invitations to debate issues facing the people of Ilam – and that’s extremely disappointing, according to Labour candidate Anthony Rimell.

“Gerry’s been invited to several debates in the electorate”, Mr Rimell said. “He has turned down more than he’s accepted.”

Mr Rimell said that Mr Brownlee had declined an invitation to a multi-party event in Bryndwr last month. Similarly, he had turned down a request to participate in an event in Bishopdale.

“The most recent decline from Mr Brownlee is to the University of Canterbury Students Association electorate debates. The University is in his electorate: it’s simply not good enough that he’s not making himself available. These ‘No shows’ are a poor show to the people of Ilam. It’s telling them that Gerry isn’t willing to have his record debated.”

Mr Rimell noted that all other MPs and candidates were engaging in public debates in their electorates.

“I’m told that Gerry has stated he is too busy. I’m sorry: that doesn’t wash with me, and it isn’t impressing the people I’m talking to in Ilam”, Mr Rimell said.

Mr Rimell noted that Mr Brownlee had recently filled in for the Christchurch Central MP, Nicky Wagner, at an event at ARA, the Christchurch Polytechnic. The crowd had been vocal, challenging Mr Brownlee’s assertion that EQC was doing an outstanding job.

“The people of Ilam deserve real chances to hear all candidates putting forward their vision and defending their policies. However, if Mr Brownlee is concerned he might be challenged, then I’m happy for him to set the venue, vet the crowd, and choose his preferred format. I want to make it as easy for Mr Brownlee as possible to stand on his record,” Mr Rimell concluded.

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