“Tory minister who trashed my town should come and have a look”

The leader of Blackpool Council said Tory Minister Heather Wheeler’s remarks that her town was “divine” had “angered her” but said she was used to that “type of ignorant and ill-advised comment”.

Blackpool hosted the Tory Party Spring Conference last year

The leader of Blackpool Council has urged a Conservative minister, who described the town as ‘divine’, to ‘come and see for herself’.

Lynn Williams, a Labor councilwoman, said Heather Wheeler’s words at an event in London were frustrating, but added: “We’re used to getting (those) kinds of ignorant and ill-advised comments.”

Ms Wheeler later apologized for the comments, which were also aimed at Birmingham, saying they did not reflect her “actual view”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Williams said: “It makes me quite angry that in this particular case we held the Tory spring conference in March this year which was incredibly successful, in our state – the arts conference centre.

“Blackpool has seen the biggest increase in visitors over the past two years. We’re doing something right, people love Blackpool.

“Maybe she needs to look around and enjoy the world famous illuminations on our beautiful promenade.

Tory Minister Heather Wheeler has apologized for calling Blackpool and Birmingham “divine” places



Heather Wheeler has apologized for her comments



“We know we have a lot of social inequalities to contend with and we’re supposed to be working with the government to tackle these under the Leveling Up program, so yeah, it’s just frustrating.

“But we continue anyway. We will continue to invest in our city and our people.”

Asked whether Ms Wheeler’s apology – in which she said her remark did not reflect her “actual view” – was sufficient, Cllr Williams said: “I mean, you said it, you thought it.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I mean even naming Blackpool and Birmingham as the subject of the joke. I’m just… nothing surprises me.

“I think it’s really further proof of what true thoughts are.”

Heather Wheeler, a junior cabinet minister, was speaking at an event in London to unveil the Tory’s new digital strategy.

Cllr Williams encouraged Ms Wheeler to come and “look around and enjoy the world famous illuminations”.


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“I was at a conference in, I don’t know, Blackpool or Birmingham, in a terrible place,” she told the audience before giving her official speech.

Lisa Nandy, Secretary of Shadow Leveling Up, said: “This comment shows the true colors of Conservatives.

“It’s no wonder the Tories fail so miserably to enhance our great cities and towns, if that’s what they really think.”

Ms Wheeler later tweeted: “While speaking at a conference on Thursday, I made an inappropriate comment that does not reflect my actual view.

“I apologize for the insult caused.”

However, some Twitter users were not convinced. One wrote: “I’m confused if it wasn’t your actual view why say it. As far as I am aware, your comment has not been credited as someone else saying it, thereby commenting on someone else’s opinion.”

Her comments were made hours after Boris Johnson delivered a key housing policy speech in Birmingham.

Mr Johnson said: “Blackpool is the second largest tourist destination outside of London in the UK,” Johnson said on Thursday during his visit.

“It’s huge, we think it has great potential.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tory-minister-who-slagged-town-27206339 "Tory minister who trashed my town should come and have a look"

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