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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 10:46 GMT
Political battle rages on leaflet
Anna Soubry
Ms Soubry says she is ashamed of her city's reputation
A Nottinghamshire MP is demanding an apology from a political rival who says she is "ashamed" of the area she hopes to represent.

Gedling Labour MP Vernon Coaker wants prospective Tory candidate Anna Soubry to withdraw the comments from a political flyer.

Ms Soubry, a lawyer and ex-broadcaster, says she is entitled to her opinion.

The leaflet says she is disillusioned with the area where she grew up because of crime and other problems.

'Bad reputation'

Ms Soubry says his comments are ludicrous: "I am being asked to apologise for my views - so the implication is that I am not entitled to have an opinion.

"I have lived in this city for over 20 years and I have seen exactly what has happened to this city - and I am ashamed.

People are not allowed to have an opinion in this country unless they agree with Labour
Anna Soubry

"I have witnessed first hand the sharp decline - the grime and crime in the city and the county - the city of Nottingham has been tainted by the reputation as the gun capital of Britain.

Mr Coaker said: "I am proud of Carlton and the other areas I represent.

"People will find it absolutely amazing that someone will say they want to represent you but I am ashamed of the area where we live.

"I think people will find it insulting and absolutely astonishing."

Ms Soubry said: "People are not allowed to have an opinion in this country unless they agree with Labour."

She wants more police to fight crime saying she is ashamed of living in a city with such a bad reputation.

"I am not ashamed of the people of Nottingham - I am ashamed of what has happened to this city."

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