Shopkeeper’s anger at Aldborough election leaflet ‘con’

An angry Norfolk shopkeeper has accused a district council candidate of 'underhanded' behaviour by using a photo of him outside his shop on his election leaflet.

But the candidate, who is standing for the North Norfolk District Council Erpingham ward, hit back by saying he had been 'very happy' for the image to be used.

The row blew up when Conservative candidate Norman Smith visited Terry Holdgate at The Village Antiques on Aldborough Green.

Mr Holdgate said: 'We had a nice chat, and I told him that I was not political, and that I voted on the basis of the candidate.

'He asked if I minded if he took a photograph of the shop. There was a lady in his car, and he shouted 'get the camera out'. Lots of people take photos of the shop because they have heard about my collection of ginger beer bottles.

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'I said to him 'I hope you don't use that on your election literature'. It didn't cross my mind that it would happen.'

Mr Holdgate said he was told by a friend that he was on Mr Smith's leaflet, and said: 'I think it's a bit of a sauce. It's a con and it's underhanded.'

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He added that he would not vote Conservative because of a decision by the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago, which pushed his business rates up from �500 to �5,500.

Mr Smith, who is standing for election for the first time, was adamant that he had told Mr Holdgate why he wanted to take the photograph.

He said: 'He said that he was a Liberal Democrat, but wasn't going to vote Liberal any more. He said to use the photo to stir up his Liberal friends.'

Tory election agent Helen Eales said: 'He was very happy to have his photograph taken and to have it used in the literature. He knew what he was doing.'

She added: 'There's nothing on it to say that he's supporting Norman Smith, but it was printed on the understanding that he had agreed. He agreed at the time, and it was printed in good faith.'

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