Helen Goodman, the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland in Durham, was born in Nottinghamshire and brought up in Derbyshire, so you would have thought that she might take extra care to brush up on her local knowledge of Durham to avoid accusations of ‘carpet-bagging’. The Northern Echo gleefully reports:
‘The village of Ingleton is so famous for its beautiful waterfalls and deep caves that MP Helen Goodman waxed lyrical about them as she opened a County Durham fair. Unfortunately for the Bishop Auckland MP she was talking about Ingleton, in North Yorkshire – which lies 70 miles away.’
The reaction from the local population has been blistering. Take Durham resident Tony Todd, who claims: ‘I think she is a disgrace and she has made a lasting impression on me. I would not vote for her.’ Or the event’s organiser Neil Flowers:
‘She obviously does not know the place and whoever had done the research for the speech had not got it right. It didn’t make her look very good. I spoke to one or two people who had realised what she’d done. I think that if it had being pointed out to her it would have made it more embarrassing.’
He saves his most devastating blow for last:
‘I don’t think that we’ll be asking Helen Goodman back to open the fair.’
That will teach her.