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Clayton Payne - Living in the Past

I have been given a copy of a leaflet that is currently being delivered by Clayton Payne, the Workers Party Candidate in the Whittlesey South by-election (in fact I have been given a few), it is a desperate attempt at a character assassination as a way of trying to pick up a few more votes. I am going to deal with all of the issues raised, but I will start with this – always, always be wary of a candidate that uses issues from a decade ago to embark on character assassination.  It’s easy to be selective when doing this and effectively reinvent the truth, and that is absolutely what has happened here.    I said I would use my blog to deal with such issues, because people deserve better than to have candidates engaging in this sort of politics via leaflet. If you want to know my version of events, this blog is the place where you’ll always find it.

To be fair, Clayton has done some decent research, but that doesn’t change the fact that his portrayal of the past is selective.

Clayton’s links with Whittlesey.  Doing your teacher training in Whittlesey is hardly a link to the town, which is what he claims. Neither is having a few friends here any sort of qualification to stand as a candidate.  Also, he lives in Murrow, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that is near to Whittlesey or not.

The 2015 Election.  Part of what he says here is right, but the circumstances that led to my failing to sign a declaration are not as clear cut as he suggests.  The major omission from his version of events is that I stood in the resulting by-election where the issues were inevitably raised. I won that by-election with over 75% of the vote.  You can see the result here.

I stand by my comments about the cost of recent by-elections which I believe is part;y caused by toxic behaviour from some Conservative Councillors – something that I intend to try and deal with.

Saxon Pit.  The reason Saxon Pit has become the mess that it is is solely down to the actions of the people operating the facilities in the pit.   There is no politician of any party that sanctioned that behaviour and to suggest otherwise is disgraceful.  If you want to know the real reason why Saxon Pit has serious problems, read this.  I repeat that I remain committed to supporting a solution to the issues at Saxon Pit that residents are happy with

Attendance.  Yes, during my final year as a Councillor in 2015, my attendance was poor.  Let me explain this.     I stood down as Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council in 2014.  When I did so, I had to find work, which I did with a company in London.  My intention was always to carry on my role as a councillor, but it became clear that the two weren’t compatible, so I stood down from my District and County Council roles in May 2015.  Timing it for that date to reduce the costs of a by-election.

There were some selective links to the media from Clayton, but in fact the overall portrayal of my decision to stand down was very positive:

I have made it clear in my leaflets that part of the reason for me standing this time is that I have much more control over my time because I run my own business.   The situation nine years ago is very different to what it is now.

I used to be a Conservative. I haven’t hidden my past in this regard at all.  Yes, I was a Conservative. I chose to resign my party membership because the party had changed to a point where I could no longer support it.  It’s another example of me standing by my principles.  What is utterly bizarre about this observation from Clayton Payne is that he stood as a Conservative Party candidate in 2023.  Click on this link and scroll down to the result for Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary Ward for proof.

Supermarketgate.  The other issue raised is the ‘supermarketgate’ fiasco in Whittlesey.  Let me be clear, I am proud of my role in that sorry episode.  I stood up for what I believed in and what I thought was right for the residents of Whittlesey, despite huge political pressure for me to do otherwise.   One result of this was that I was sacked as vice-chairman of planning. In fact, I was originally asked to resign and when I was told the reason the leader wanted me to resign was ‘community concerns’, I refused to do so, choosing to be sacked in order for there to be a public debate about the issue.  I had huge support from Whittlesey residents at the time and I know many of them remember how I stood up for what I believed to be right.  


There is an important point here, I have said that two reasons I am standing is to deal with some issues around the toxic behaviour of some Conservative Councillors and to make a strong case for Whittlesey.   My role in the ‘supermarketgate’ fiasco only serves to show that I am robust enough and strong enough to do exactly what I say.   It is a reason to vote for me, not to doubt me.

I could write a lot more about the leaflet, but I will finish worth this. I don’t hide from my past, I have no reason to, I am proud of it.  Like anybody that wants to achieve anything, I have made mistakes, but I believe my past record for Whittlesey is positive.   The school where the Workers Party candidate did his teacher training in received a massive upgrade partly thanks to my efforts.   Kings Dyke Bridge is there partly thanks to my efforts. The fact that I have achieved things and stood up for Whittlesey means that I have been in the press a fair amount – and that means people can be selective and misinterpret the past.  I hope in 3 years time, Fenland District Council will be on its way to being a much, much better council partly thanks to my efforts.  If that happens, I will appear in the press again and someone will inevitably interpret those events for their personal advantage, but that can only happen if you vote for me.

Thanks for your support.


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