Welwyn Garden City election campaign features on Newsnight

THE election campaign in Welwyn Hatfield provided the backdrop to BBC Two’s Newsnight programme this week.

The show featured shots of Tory candidate Grant Shapps chatting with residents outside Woodhall Parade in WGC.

It also carried a musical report from the constituency that saw vocals about Conservative policies set to a blues tune.

Speaking after the show was aired on Wednesday, Mr Shapps said: “We tend to do big, energetic sessions where we go out to chat with local residents, so Newsnight asked if they could tag along.

As for the blues-themed report, Mr Shapps said: “The WGC male voice choir very kindly helped out with an excellent performance.

“It was all a bit bizarre but it was great fun and the 40 local people who joined in really enjoyed themselves.”

The programme, which is presented by Jeremy Paxman, is currently available to view again on the BBC iPlayer.

Most Read

However, one resident was far from amused.

Malcolm Cooper, of Woodhall House, said he was disturbed by cheering and loud music being played on an electric guitar at around 7.15pm on Sunday last week.

He said: “I was amazed to see a crowd of people, a TV camera and the local Conservative parliamentary candidate conducting a ‘photo opportunity’.

“This disturbance lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes and was ended by the TV crew leaving to shouts of ‘thanks Grant’.”

He continued: “I appreciate that in a retail area I cannot expect total peace and quiet.

“Nevertheless the local Tories either do not appreciate or do not care that over the shops we have residential properties, otherwise they would not conduct such a stunt at such an inappropriate time.

“On a Sunday evening in an area which is both retail and residential shows either ignorance of the local domestic situation or an arrogant disregard for local residents.”

A spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Conservatives said the filming schedule was entirely dictated by the BBC.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter