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Southend MP attacked over city "dumps" insult
9:30pm Monday 18th March 2013 in Echo News
SOUTHEND has come under fire from its fellow bidders for the UK City of Culture 2017 title after one of its MPs dismissed rivals as “absolute dumps”.
David Amess, the Tory MP for Southend West, sparked outrage across the country when claimed many of the town’s opponents “wouldn’t know culture if it was put in front of them” last week.
Despite him later claiming the comments were tongue in cheek, the outburst has prompted MPs and councillors from other bidders to turn on Southend.
Geraint Davies, the Labour MP for Swansea West, said: “We anticipate a massive increase in tourism as a result of the many events going on throughout Swansea.
“Swansea is now a global brand thanks to the Premier League success of our football team - I have not heard of any reason Southend should be a contender.”
Jeremy Birch, the Labour leader of Hastings Council, challenged Mr Amess to back up his claims.
He said: “I don't know when he last visited our town, indeed if he ever has.
“We can take him to the Jerwood Gallery and to the De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, perhaps a walk in the country park and then in the evening we can listen to three piano concertos played by the Hastings International Piano Concerto competition finalists.
“Hastings and Bexhill have every reason to bid for City of Culture status.”