A Manchester council candidate has been accused of misleading voters by sending campaign letters with a local address despite not living in the area.
Astrid Johnson, the Green Party candidate standing in Woodhouse Park who lives in Moss Side, used a Wythenshawe address in her letter to postal voters. Wythenshawe’s address is actually the home of Greeen’s councilman, Rob Nunney.
Ms Johnson says he is used for written correspondence with local residents so he can respond to their inquiries. But Labor councilor Sarah Judge, whose seat is under threat in this key election battleground, has accused her rival of ‘misleading’ local residents – claims Ms Johnson denies.
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Coun Judge, who also opposes Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates in the neighborhood, says residents have raised the issue with her. She said: “It’s not about whether Astrid lives in Wythenshawe or not.
“Some people argue that their advisers should live locally. We have some fantastic advisers who don’t live in the area.
“The feeling I have on the doorstep is that people feel misled. They’re angry about it. People want their advisers to be honest.”
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The Green Party beat Labor at Woodhouse Park in the last local election in May 2021 when Councilor Rob Nunney ousted Brian O’Neil from the ruling group. Labor now hold 92 of Manchester’s 96 council seats and hope not to lose another councilor in the next election in May.
Johnson, who ran for Sharston last year, says people in Woodhouse Park know her now from all the campaigning she ran. However, she refuted claims that she attempted to mislead voters by putting a Wythenshawe address under her name in the handwritten letter.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, she said Woodhouse Park was her “adopted area” but insisted she “never claimed” to live there. A Green Party spokesperson said: “It is common practice across all political parties to use a common address on literature.
“This address, which is not even in the disputed area, has been used by local activists for over four years. This non-story, fomented by the local Labor Party, reveals the desperation and shows that Labor feels threatened by a strong green challenge.”
Johnson said Coun Nunney’s address – which is in the Baguley neighborhood – has been used by the Green Party for written correspondence in the area since 2018. Labor candidate Sarah Judge also lives outside the neighborhood of Newall Green.
The other candidates running in Woodhouse Park are Anna Hablak for the Liberal Democrats and Stephen James McHugh for the Conservative Party.
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