The Labour candidate in Grimsby, Melanie Onn, has provoked outrage by implying that the fishing industry was not a ‘decent’ or ‘skilled’ career.
Speaking on The World Tonight after a hustings in Grimsby Minster Melanie Onn, a union official who was selected from an all-woman short list following the resignation of Austin Mitchell, made light of the damage which the destruction of the fishing industry has done to the town.
“I think Grimsby’s moved on, it’s developing,” she said, adding that the future lay with subsidised renewable energy from wind turbines out in the North Sea.
“The young people you are talking to, not one of them is saying they ‘I want to go into the fishing industry’ are they: they want decent jobs, they want skilled jobs and they are looking for training opportunities that deliver them directly into those areas.”
She then denied her comments on twitter, saying that she was ‘proud of Gy’s heritage’ and said if she was elected she ‘will do all I can 2 support based on fact, not spin’.
The seat has become a focus of media interest because not only could UKIP take it off Labour, but its candidate Victoria Ayling has become a YouTube hit after suggesting the BBC were biased in their reporting about the EU due to the fact they receive subsidies.
She told Breitbart London that following the interview she felt the public service broadcaster was “out to get her”, something which their coverage of Grimsby voters appeared to back up.
In a pre-recorded interview, they spoke a number of people at a local academy, selecting those who only had negative words to say about UKIP aside from one Conservative voter who managed to muster a “some of his points are valid points” following Nigel Farage’s visit to the Constituency.
Watch Victoria Ayling Sets BBC Reporter Straight on the EU
Following Ms Onn’s comments, Ms Ayling said she was “totally disgusted at the trampling of the heritage of Grimsby” by the Labour candidate.
“So many people would be glad of a job in fishing and it has served Grimsby for many years. It was Labour’s EU love affair that has ruined fishing in our town and they seen happy to just consign our heritage to the dustbin off history.”
“While people in this constituency are unemployed, struggling between heating and eating, a union official in her feathered nest is staring disdainfully down at the dying corpse of our fishing industry and our heritage.”
And she called on her opponent to apologise, “not just for this but also for her denial on twitter which was an outright lie”
Her comments were echoed by Cllr John Stockton, who lost his brother aged 24 when he tried to help another ship off the coast of Norway which had run aground.
“As a person who lost his young brother to the sea in 1974 I find her comments absolutely despicable,” he said. “They are a disgrace to every family in this town who has lost loved ones while working in the fishing industry.
“The trawler men of this town do a very skilled and a very dangerous job and her comments show she has no respect at all for them.”
UKIP fisheries spokesman Ray Finch MEP asked, “Is it now Labour Party policy to abandon our fishing industry?”
“Nye Bevan once said, “Britain is an island mostly made of coal and surrounded by fish. It takes a genius to ensure a shortage of both.”