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Mystery behind MPs' website addresses

Thursday, 11 April 2024 12:40

By Bradley Gerrard, local democracy reporter

Simon Jupp (left) will go head-to-head with Richard Foord at the general election

Foord's name linked to Jupp's pages

Three web domains in the name of a Lib Dem MP but that redirected people to a Conservative rival’s website now appear to have been disconnected.

Pressure began growing on Simon Jupp (Conservative, East Devon) last week to explain why the web addresses – RichardFoord.co.uk, RichardFoord.com and RichardFoord.uk – sent users to Mr Jupp’s website.

Mr Foord (Liberal Democrat, Tiverton and Honiton) will contest the new Honiton and Sidmouth seat against Mr Jupp at the forthcoming general election.

Now, just days after news of the web domains emerged in a national newspaper, they do not connect to Mr Jupp’s website.

A Google search for them still lists them as results, but the links are no longer active.

Mr Jupp said he was “not responsible for the web domains”, and the Electoral Commission said it is not an issue they will be looking into.

But Paul Arnott (Liberal Democrat, Coly Valley), the leader of East Devon District Council, an area currently represented by Mr Jupp, said it was up to the Conservative MP to explain what he thinks occurred.

“As leader of East Devon District Council for the last four years, I have made it a priority at all times to make sure the council and all local politicians operate at the highest level of truthfulness and transparency,” he said.

“At this stage it is not certain what has happened here, but I do think the absolute onus is on Simon Jupp to give a full, frank and immediate explanation of what has happened.”

A spokesperson for Mr Foord said: “When we talk to people across Mid and East Devon, they tell us they want their representatives to play it straight and be honest.

“Links that look genuine but simply redirect to Conservative websites only serve to arouse suspicion and undermine trust.

“People deserve better from their MP, and at the election they have a chance to demand better by voting Liberal Democrat.”
 

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