The first of two days in Shirley today. We started on Orchard Avenue and the surrounding roads then moved on to Shirley Church Road, which is a sea of Conservative posters. One man, who had convinced his wife to display a political poster for the first time in their lives, told me he was so desperate for a change of government that he had told his wife, "It's a poster in the window or divorce!".
I had a film crew with the BBC with me and asked everyone I spoke to whether they would be happy to be filmed talking to me - some were very keen to be TV stars, others less so! I was then interviewed by the BBC correspondent myself, who said that the Andrew Pelling campaign were alleging that my campaign is being funded by Lord Ashcroft and that I was personally responsible for Andrew being ousted. The first of these allegations is demonstrably untrue - all political parties are required by law to declare all but the most minor donations to their campaign to the Electoral Commission so you can check for yourself on their website who is funding my campaign. As for the second allegation, Andrew was suspended from the Conservative Parliamentary Party while the police investigated allegations made by his wife - the idea that I had any involvement in this decision is frankly laughable - and he then wrote to the local party saying he didn't want to stand again effectively ousting himself. I guess it is a sign of the desperation of some of the people around him that they resort to such negative campaigning.
We ended another lovely day in Shirley Oaks village, where we got a really warm response.
Nationally, Labour launched their manifesto today. Lots of promises but then last time they promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and that Tony Blair would serve a full term. Why should we believe anything they say this time around?