War of words over poll saying 'councillors are more trusted than MPs'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keighley MP Kris Hopkins Keighley MP Kris Hopkins

A WAR of words has broken out over a survey which claims councillors are more trusted with local services than MPs.

The Local Government Association poll found that 76 per cent of respondents trusted their councillor the most, compared to just nine per cent their MP.

Only six per cent trusted government ministers.

Keighley town mayor, Coun Graham Mitchell, said: “I think that geographical proximity makes a huge difference.

"Local councillors live on the same street, shop in the local Co-op and visit the same post office as you.

"They are accessible and people know them and their family as neighbours and as ‘real people’, whereas MPs are often seen as distant personalities living in ‘the Westminster bubble’ and remote from the trials and tribulations of ordinary life."

But MP Kris Hopkins, a housing minister, accused the civic head of making "self-congratulatory" comments.

He said: "Mayor Mitchell’s comments are interesting given the level of regard in which Keighley Town Council is currently held.

"It might surprise him to learn that I live on a real street with lots of other real people and am a frequent visitor to the post office and convenience shops.

"There are good councillors and poor councillors, just as there are effective and ineffective MPs. The overriding objective of all politicians should be to do the best we can to serve our constituents."

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