Conservative candidate for Ashfield says nuisance tenants should 'live in tents'

A candidate hoping to be elected in Ashfield has suggested that tenants who commit anti-social behaviour should be made to live ‘in a tent’ with cold showers.

Councillor Lee Anderson is standing for the Conservatives, and made the comments in a video on his Facebook page.

Councillor Lee Anderson represents Oakham on Mansfield District Council and is vying to be the next MP for Ashfield.

Councillor Lee Anderson represents Oakham on Mansfield District Council and is vying to be the next MP for Ashfield.

The video, which has not been deleted, has drawn numerous comments accusing Mr Anderson of advocating forced labour camps and modern day slavery.

He said he had been ‘banging on’ to the council and the police about nuisance tenants on the Carsic estate.

He starts the video by stressing that his thoughts are his own personal opinions, rather than that of his party.

"I’ve been banging on to the council, banging on to the police about getting these nuisances evicted.

"So people say to me ‘but they’ve got to live somewhere’.

"That’s right, so my plan would be, and this is only my personal opinion, is that these people have to live somewhere, let’s have them in a tent in the middle of a field, six o’clock in the morning let’s have them up let’s have them in the fields picking potatoes or any current seasonal vegetable, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out 6 o’clock, it’s the same the next day.

"That would be my solution.”

On Facebook, Mr Anderson said his idea would “reduce anti social behaviour, free up much needed housing for decent people and solve the labour shortage on our farms."

The video, on his official campaign Facebook page, has received a mixed reaction on social media.

Opponents, including Ashfield Independents leader Coun Jason Zadrozny, described it as "dog-whistle politics" and said Coun Anderson "could have changed tenancy policy" when he sat on Ashfield District Council as a Labour member.

While the East Midlands Labour Party said it accepted that anti-social behaviour needed to be tackled, but said: "The Ashfield Tory plan of forced labour camps is beyond the pale, and shows the nasty party rearing its head once again."

But some residents on the troubled Carsic estate came to Coun Anderson's defence on social media, saying the Conservative candidate has done a lot of "good work" for residents on the estate.

Tracey Greatorex said: "I support Lee for all the good work hes done helping anti-social behaviour victims on Carsic estate.

"Where our council failed us, he's worked a lot harder than some I could mention, only Lee doesn't advertise it."

Caitlee Madin added: "I completely agree. Why should those that make peoples' lives hell be allowed to live near people that don't [behave like that]?"

Your Chad contacted Coun Anderson for a comment, but he did not wish to provide one at this time. We have also contacted the Conservatives' press office.

Candidates standing in Ashfield are:
Lee Anderson, Conservative
Martin Daubney, Brexit Party
Natalie Fleet, Labour
Becky Wain, Liberal Democrat
Rose Woods, Green
Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Independents