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US candidate sorry over Essex village 'smear' backing Trump

PUBLISHED: 18:17 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:12 01 November 2018

The campaign poster uses the old image to promote Donald Trump's cause before the US mid-term elections Picture: STELLA FOR CONGRESS

The campaign poster uses the old image to promote Donald Trump's cause before the US mid-term elections Picture: STELLA FOR CONGRESS

STELLA FOR CONGRESS

A US politician has apologised after his campaign used an image of a village to warn voters of what could happen if they fail to back President Trump.

Jaywick Sands, Essex Avenue, before the improvements. Picture: ECCJaywick Sands, Essex Avenue, before the improvements. Picture: ECC

‘Only you can stop this from becoming reality’ warns the poster, which first appeared on a Facebook page backing congressional Republican candidate Dr Nick Stella.

The campaign material has sparked fury after using an old picture of a street in Jaywick Sands – featuring run down homes – as the backdrop.

Tendring council chiefs – who have pumped millions of pounds into regenerating the Essex village, twice ranked as Britain’s most deprived neighbourhood – described the act as “appalling”.

Now those behind Dr Stella’s campaign have responded to the backlash – and even suggested a future visit.

Jaywick Sands, Essex Avenue after the improvements. Picture: ECCJaywick Sands, Essex Avenue after the improvements. Picture: ECC

“Our intent was never to smear the town in the photo, now known to us as Jaywick Sands in Essex,” said director of operations Raquel Mitchell.

“For us it was an example of a town overburdened by poor governance, which is exactly what we in our district are seeking to prevent at every level. Let it serve as an example of how government responding to the needs of the people can overcome hardship.

She added: “I’m sure Jaywick Sands is charming.

“Perhaps a future visit would be a great way to exchange ideas between the two areas.”

TDC’s Paul Honeywood, who has special responsibility for Jaywick, outlined work done by authorities since the photograph was taken.

“Since the old image used in this campaign poster was taken, support from Government, Essex County Council and other bodies has helped to build upon the work we as a council were already doing to improve the quality of life for residents,” he said.

“I know that many Jaywick Sands residents will be outraged at being smeared in this way and rightly so.

“Perhaps Dr Stella would like to come down and visit Jaywick Sands to learn about how we really get things done, rather than engaging in this sort of negative campaigning?”

The street in question has since benefitted from a £6.5m programme by ECC to improve roads and drainage.

According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation of both 2010 and 2015, the eastern part of Jaywick was ranked as the most deprived area of England.

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