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Tory MP is gagged over political unrest on our streets

PUBLISHED: 16:55 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:49 12 August 2010

TORY party spin doctors ordered Bromley MP, Bob Neill, not to talk to your Times about the current political crisis.

TORY party spin doctors ordered Bromley MP, Bob Neill, not to talk to your Times about the current political crisis.

When approached this week Mr Neill initially agreed to our request to supply a column on the issues which have left the country in limbo.

However he called back on Tuesday night to say he had been forbidden to speak out about the coalition proposals being thrashed out between Tory leader David Cameron, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and outgoing prime minister and Labour leader, Gordon Brown.

New Orpington MP Jo Johnson and Beckenham MP Bob Stewart were also approached for comments on the crisis but both replied they were in a 'new MP induction workshop at Westminster' and were unable to help at this time.

Your Times then went out on the streets of the borough and discovered feelings were running high. Voters everywhere had an opinion. This is what you said.

An overwhelming 86 per cent of Bromley residents polled on Tuesday, a day after the Prime Minister's shock resignation, said he had made the right decision to stand aside.

Mr Brown announced on Monday afternoon that he will resign as Labour leader before September.

His announcement was seen by many as a move to woo the Liberal Democrats into a coalition government with Labour after four days of turmoil as all three parties try to deal with the mess of a hung parliament.

As the Times went to press, last minute talks were continuing as the country remained in political limbo.

Karen Ash, 41, a full-time mother from Beckenham, was indicative of the feeling on Bromley High Street. She said: "Gordon was absolutely right to go. Everyone has lost confidence in him and no one likes him anymore."

Peter Hart, 54, from Beckenham, said: "Yes, Brown was right to go, and about time too.

"We need some stability, and Labour and the Lib Dems have made such a mess of it that the Tories should win a big majority next time."

Retired Patricia Marshall, from Bromley, said: "Mr Brown has been very dishonourable in all this, I think it's disgusting."

A tense power struggle has gripped British politics after neither Labour nor Tory failed to secure the 326 seats needed to form a majority government in last Thursday's general election.

Reading a statement outside the door of No.10 at 5pm on Monday evening, Gordon Brown said: "The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country.

"As leader of my party, I must accept that that is a judgment on me. I therefore ask the Labour Party to put in train the processes needed for its own leadership election.

"I would hope that it would be completed in time for the ... Labour Party conference."

A poll carried out in Bromley High Street of 100 people found 86 people was right to stand down.

The three main constituencies in Bromley roundly rejected the Labour Party last Thursday when they elected Tories across the board with a combined majority of 48,884 votes.

Unlike in Westminster, the Conservatives also won a resounding majority on a local level last Thursday, winning 53 of the 60 seats on offer at Bromley Civic Centre.

Many residents spoken to by the Times on Tuesday felt that Mr Brown's gaffe while campaigning, when a microphone overheard him call, 69-year-old Labour supporter Gillian Duffy a "bigoted woman".

Joanna Flanaghan, 49, a Librarian from Bromley, said: "Bigot-gate finished him off. Although I liked him, the media made a big deal about nothing."

One 40-year-old man, who did not want to be named, said: "I think that Nick Clegg should stand down too, he has been pulling strings behind closed doors and thinks he can walk on water. It's the sheer, unadulterated love of power.

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