MP defends his friends in the north

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 May 2010

MP Oliver Heald has been given a key role in the Conservative Party s planning for the next General Election. He has been given responsibility for rallying the Tory troops in Sheffield. And the move has been criticised by Royston Liberal Democrat councill

MP Oliver Heald has been given a key role in the Conservative Party's planning for the next General Election.

He has been given responsibility for rallying the Tory troops in Sheffield.

And the move has been criticised by Royston Liberal Democrat councillor Cllr Robert Inwood.

He said the decision to send Mr Heald to an area 135 miles from his constituency in North-east Herts was "ridiculous".

Cllr Inwood told The Crow this week: "We will be checking to see how much time our MP spends in his constituency."

He said that Mr Heald, who is Shadow Constitutional Affairs Secretary, was simply "jumping on the Cameron bandwagon".

Mr Heald explained that Tory leader David Cameron had given members of the Shadow Cabinet the responsibility of liaising with major cities.

He said that both his mother and sister live in Sheffield and it seemed a sensible match when the issue was being discussed.

Mr Heald was adamant that the role would not interfere with his constituency work.

He has been the constituency's MP for 12 years and apart from being involved in local issues - which has included raising questions in Parliament related to the area - he has run regular surgeries throughout North-east Herts.

"I don't think there is anyone who can say that I can't be contacted," he said.

Mr Heald was one of the first MPs in Westminster to set-up a website and be available on e-mail.

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