Debbie Abrahams: I used to live in Newhey

Debbie Abrahams is the Labour candidate for the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. She also stood in the Colne Valley constituency at the general election in May.

Answering questions on the Examiner website at the time, Abrahams said:

I live in Longwood with my husband John. I used to live in Newhey – six miles away.

I do think it is important to live in the constituency you wish to represent to be part of that community and that’s why I moved!

Debbie Abrahams (right) in a general election leaflet saying she lived in Longwood

She also stated that she lived in Longwood, in the Colne Valley constituency, in her election leaflets. I must say however I think this was a little misleading.

When she talks about living in Longwood having previously lived in Newhey, I would think most people would assume that meant she had sold her home in Newhey and purchased a property in Longwood or some similar arrangement. I suspect the reality is rather different however.

It is with great interest that I note that the home address she has given for the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election is the same as that which she gave in 2008 when she was a candidate in a local election.

Since she wasn’t living in the Colne Valley in June 2009, apparently planning to do so “as soon as possible”, did she manage to sell her property in Newhey and move to Longwood by April this year, then move back to the same house in Newhey by now? Obviously not.

I would suggest that it in all probability she was simply renting a flat in Quarry Bank Mill, Longwood, whilst Newhay remained her main home. Cllr David Ridgway’s comments that she appeared briefly on the electoral register in the Colne Valley from January through May would seem to support this theory.

On this basis you might want reconsider her comments to the Examiner. Was she being completely honest when she said that she “used to live in Newhey” and had moved to live in the Colne Valley?

UPDATE (13 January)

The Telegraph have reported that “Sources close to Mrs Abrahams told The Times the candidate’s family home was in Newhey, but that she had rented a flat in Longwood for part of last year.” This would seems to confirm my theory.

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6 Responses to Debbie Abrahams: I used to live in Newhey

  1. Andrea Gill says:

    And of course she now claims, since standing in Oldham East and Saddleworth, that she has been living in Milnrow for 23 years.

    I accept there are reasons why candidates want to seem “local” but why not be honest for a change? You don’t have to be born and bred somewhere to care about an area and be a good local MP, and if you have local roots then good for you, but why exaggerate or even lie?

    • adambro says:

      Yes, I have no problem per se with non-local candidates because I don’t think being from somewhere else is necessarily a barrier to being a good representative of an area but it is important not to mislead voters.

  2. Mark Mercer says:

    Debbie is tipped to win isn’t she?
    Looks as though one labour liar is about to be replaced by another.
    Deceiving voters, even in small ways, does not auger well for the future.

  3. Andrea Gill says:

    As a Colne Valley resident who would never dream of voting Labour, I am beginning to understand how people who never voted for Lib Dems can feel “betrayed”. Debbie Abrahams makes me feel betrayed now I know her claims in May about how much she loved Colne Valley and how she lives locally were total and utter bulls**t 😦

  4. Mark Mercer says:

    Yes, but how many voters will actually know or care?

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