A teenage election candidate should be ‘pulled up’ by his party over Twitter claims, according to an opposition councillor.
With just weeks to go until the local election, Loughton Resident’s Association’s (LRA) Leon Girling and the district’s youngest candidate, 18-year-old Conservative Chris Criscione, have gone head-to-head on social media.
Chriscione has accused the LRA of neglecting damaged roads in the area and claimed Tories were responsible for ensuring street lights were left on for an extra hour for the benefit of commuters.
Cllr Girling, of Loughton Broadway ward, said the teenager is “misinformed” as road repairs and the scheme to switch street lights off at night were the responsibility of the Tory-led county council.
He said: “It is so dodgy for him to be making all these claims about our party. He talks about LRA at county but there is only one LRA member at county council.
“The decisions and the cuts are all from the Conservative party.
“His agent Valarie Metcalfe should have pulled him up on these Tweets straight away.
“The LRA was totally against the switch off of the lights and he is claiming that his party was successful in getting them to stay on later.
“It was the Conservative controlled county council that had the lights turned off.”
The row began on Sunday when Cllr Girling described Conservative councillors canvassing at the farmer’s market as “out of touch” and accused them of bullying the people of Debden.
Criscione, the Tory party hopeful in Loughton Alderton, hit back, accusing the LRA of “doing nothing” for the district.
One of Chris Criscione’s last messages posted on the site stated that he was ‘appalled’ by the LRA.
Mr Criscione said that he was not criticising Cllr Girling, but his party.
He said: “I’ve spoken to my party and I won’t be pulled up for the Tweets.
“I was Tweeting about the LRA, not about what he does in his ward. I know what is being done in my ward because I have lived here my entire life.”
In his latest Tweet Mr Criscione challenged the LRA over potholes.
He said: “The roads in Loughton Alderton ward come under the remit of Cllr Chris Pond.
“It’s his job to look after highways in that area.”
The election takes place on May 22.