Tory Candidate's "Residency" Claim Under Fire After Airbnb Revelation

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Ed McGuinness, a Conservative councillor running for the Surrey Heath MP seat, has claimed to be a resident of the constituency. He posted pictures of himself entering a house, stating that Surrey Heath residents "rightly expect their MP to be a part of their community." However, social media users quickly pointed out that the house in question appears to be listed on Airbnb.

Pictures of the property on the rental site match those posted by McGuinness. The listing describes the property as "a light and airy self-contained annex." One user commented that it was "a bit weird to do a ‘getting the keys’ shot for an Airbnb." A community note on X stated that the property's availability on Airbnb does not indicate a long-term booking.

At the time of McGuinness's post, the property was still available to book on several days in July. A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, who are challenging for the seat, commented on the situation, stating that the Conservatives are "running scared" of the Liberal Democrats. They suggested that McGuinness's potential short-term stay in the constituency could be indicative of the party's fear of losing the seat.

McGuinness is a former British army officer and veteran of Afghanistan. He describes himself as a political commentator, an active Conservative campaigner, and a former Association Chairman. The seat became vacant after Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, announced his decision to step down at the upcoming election. Gove, one of the longest-serving Conservative ministers, cited the need for a "new generation" to lead as his reason for leaving.

The Lib Dems believe that Gove's Surrey Heath seat is vulnerable. They hope to overturn the significant Conservative majority from the 2019 election.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09