City of Culture rivals are absolute dumps, says Essex Tory MP
An Essex MP has branded some of the contenders for the UK 2017 Capital of Culture crown “absolute dumps.”
Tory MP David Amess, 60, is backing Southend-on-Sea, his home town, to win the title.
As previously reported by the Mercury Leicester is also bidding.
Other rivals include Chester, Hull, Swansea Bay and Plymouth, Aberdeen, East Kent, Dundee, Portsmouth and Southampton and Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea.
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The Mirror has reported Mr Amess claimed many of Southend’s rivals: “wouldn’t know culture if it was put in front of them”.
He said: “I have looked at some of the competition and frankly they are absolute dumps some of them.
“I better not say more because I’ll get into trouble, but I really think it is Southend which jumps out.”
Mr Amess, who represents Southend West, said the town has been “under-rated and under-used” in the past.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who chairs a consortium putting together Leicester’s bid, told the Mercury: “I have been to some of the other places and undoubtedly some of them are very interesting.
“However, I am confident any impartial observer will see that none of them can match Leicester’s unique mixture of cultures.
“We have a brilliant opportunity here and, having seen our rivals, I am confident in our chances.”
All 11 areas must submit their bids by the end of April.
An independent panel will then decide on a shortlist before the winner is announced in November.
• What do you think of Essex MP David Amess' views on the contenders for the UK 2017 Capital of Culture? Add your comments below or tweet us @thisisleics