Great Britain

Tory MP who called litterbugs ‘yobs’ & posed with Womble fined £100 for dropping fag butt at election count

AN MP who was pictured with a Womble as part of an anti-litter campaign has been fined - for littering.

Tory Richard Holden was spotted by a council warden dropping a cigarette butt outside an election count.

The MP - who has urged his constituents not to be “litter tossers” - was issued with a £100 fine.

Political opponents branded him a hypocrite after his stance against littering which included being pictured with Orinoco as part of a Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

Mr Holden, who represents North West Durham, has also organised litter picks in his constituency and branded people who litter as “yobs”.

But he found himself on the wrong side of the law on Saturday during the count for the Durham County Council elections.

A council warden spotted him and another person drop cigarette butts outside the Louisa Centre in Stanley.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council's neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We can confirm one of our neighbourhood wardens observed two people littering outside the Louisa Centre, Stanley, during Saturday's local election count and issued them both with fixed penalty notices.”

Mr Holden’s political opponents criticised him over the fine.

Labour MP Kevan Jones’ North Durham constituency borders Mr Holden’s and includes Stanley where he was caught littering.

He said: “I take a dim view, along with most of my constituents, for him thinking it is okay to litter in Stanley, while preaching about littering in Consett.

“It is very hypocritical of him lecturing others on picking up litter when he is doing it himself.”

Carole Hampson, a member of both Stanley Town Council and Durham County Council, added: “It is very hypocritical of him, especially as he has done the litter campaign.

“He should be setting an example but unfortunately he broke the law so he has to the face the consequences.”

In July last year Mr Holden said during a litter pick: “Don’t be a litter tosser and throw it out the window – just take it home or bin it - it’s on us all to keep North West Durham tidy.

"We’re lucky to live in such a fantastic area – let’s keep it that way so we can all enjoy our beautiful local environment and protect our wildlife.”

And in December he said: “One of the biggest annoyances for so many of my constituents and one I’ve been campaigning against is the litter problem we have in County Durham and I’ve arranged and conducted several litter picks myself.

"I will continue to push the Council hard on this – as I know how fed up local people are, and rightly so.”

Mr Holden, 36, became the first ever Tory elected in North West Durham when he won the seat in 2019. He was photographed with Orinoco at the Houses of Parliament in January last year.   

He has been contacted for comment.

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