Stories about Sir Stuart Bell always tickle Guido. The veteran Labour MP hasn’t held a surgery for 14 years. It seems his local paper in Teesside has finally lost their rag with him and gave him two barrels yesterday:
The Gazette made a total of 100 calls to Sir Stuart’s two published telephone numbers during weekday office hours between May and July, when Parliament broke up for the summer. We used a variety of different Middlesbrough landline numbers and mobile phones – to conceal the fact that the calls were coming from this newspaper – and a log was kept of exactly when each call was made .No one ever answered the phone. All calls rang out to an answering machine.
Yesterday afternoon the Gazette made calls to the published telephone numbers for Tom Blenkinsop, Alex Cunningham, James Wharton and Ian Swales – the four other Teesside MPs – and each was answered by a member of staff at the first attempt.
Surely he can get his calls forwarded to his place of residence. France…