We don’t know the full story and once again the lynch mob is out in full force

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A new sign about local MP Mark Menzies has sparked a mixed reaction from residents.

Spotted outside a property on Clifton Drive in Ansdell, the graffiti read: “Mark Menzies - You are an embarrassment. We don’t want you as our MP...Resign now.”

It followed another tongue-in-cheek sign in the same location which read: “We Love Mark Menzies - The Bad People.”

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A new sign declaring local MP Mark Menzies an “embarrassment” has sparked a mixed reaction from residents (Credit: Dave Nelson)A new sign declaring local MP Mark Menzies an “embarrassment” has sparked a mixed reaction from residents (Credit: Dave Nelson)
A new sign declaring local MP Mark Menzies an “embarrassment” has sparked a mixed reaction from residents (Credit: Dave Nelson) | Dave Nelson

The signature referred to a scandal which saw Mr Menzies leave the Conservative Party earlier this year on April 21.

He quit amid accusations he had misused political donations to cover his medical expenses and pay off “bad people” who had locked him in a flat and demanded money for his release.

The MP, who has been serving the constituency of Fylde since 2010, had previously announced he would not be standing at the forthcoming General Election.

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The signs sparked mixed reactions from local residents, with one resident writing: “Bullying, pure and simple. Hope he doesn’t do anything drastic. “We don’t know the full story and once again the lynch mob is out in full force.

“You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”

Mr Menzies quit amid accusations he had misused political donations to cover his medical expensesMr Menzies quit amid accusations he had misused political donations to cover his medical expenses
Mr Menzies quit amid accusations he had misused political donations to cover his medical expenses

Another added: “It's their garden so they can put what they like in it. If you don't like it, don’t look.”

In a personal column penned for the Lancashire Post, Lytham St Annes Express and Blackpool Gazette, Mr Menzies said he had “made mistakes” and for that he was “deeply sorry”.

An investigation into the allegations, denied by Mr Menzies, concluded that while there had not been a misuse of party funds, the MP’s behaviour fell below the required standards and may have breached the Nolan principles of public life.

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Mr Menzies decision to stand down came after The Times reported he had called his 78-year old former campaign manager, Kate Fieldhouse, at 3.15am one day in December, claiming he was locked in a flat and needed £5,000 as a matter of “life and death”.

The sum, which rose to £6,500, was eventually paid by his office manager from her personal bank account and subsequently reimbursed from funds raised from donors in an account named Fylde Westminster Group, it is alleged.

The Times also reported that £14,000 given by donors for Tory campaign activities was transferred to Mr Menzies’ personal bank accounts and used for private medical expenses.

A party spokesman said the money in question had been signed off by two signatories of the Fylde Westminster Group.

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They said: “This body sits outside of the remit of both the Conservative Party and Fylde Conservative Association. Therefore we cannot conclude that there has been a misuse of Conservative Party funds.

The MP has been serving the constituency of Fylde since 2010 (Credit: Dave Nelson)The MP has been serving the constituency of Fylde since 2010 (Credit: Dave Nelson)
The MP has been serving the constituency of Fylde since 2010 (Credit: Dave Nelson) | Dave Nelson

“However, we do believe that there has been a pattern of behaviour that falls below the standards expected of MPs and individuals looking after donations to local campaign funds which lie outside the direct jurisdiction of the Conservative Party.”

The spokesman said the Tories would retain individuals on managing such accounts and introduce a whistleblowing hotline.

They added: “Whilst outside the initial scope of this investigation, there has also been a recommendation that the actions of the MP in question have also potentially breached the Nolan principles of public life.

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“This is due to the nature of the allegations made, but also the repetitive nature of these separate allegations. These will be reviewed by the Conservative Party’s member governance team.”

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