'˜Sack the Mack' protest takes place in Northampton calling for under-fire MP to stand down

Protestors calling for Northampton MP David Mackintosh to stand down gathered at the Guildhall last night brandishing 'Sack the Mack' banners.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 2:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:16 pm
The protest at the Guildhall last night. Pictures by Dave Ikin. NNL-161212-180559009

The demonstration held by close to 30 Labour party members and councillors took place just before Northampton Borough Council’s full meeting at around 5.30pm last night.

Mr Mackintosh issued apologies for his role in the £10.25 million loan to Northampton Town when he was council leader in a series of statements last week.

But one of the organisers of the protest, apprentice recruiter Dale Willis, 52, of Duston, said Mr Mackintosh still has a number of questions to answer.

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The protest at the Guildhall last night. Pictures by Dave Ikin. NNL-161212-180559009

He said: “We are here to say that we are angry with David Mackintosh representing Northampton.

“We are really concerned about the missing millions, the donations he received to his campaign and whether he is fit for office.”

He said the demonstration was just the first step in the #Sackintosh campaign, which he hopes will lead to a vote of no confidence in the MP. Though he accepted critics may see the campaign as politically motivated.

Regards the donations to Mr Mackintosh’s campaign, Mr Willis referred to the £30,000 received towards the MP’s fighting fund in 2015, which came from associates of the Sixfields development company 1st Land.

The protest at the Guildhall last night. Pictures by Dave Ikin. NNL-161212-180559009

Mr Mackintosh has long maintained the donations were above board and that the three men were supporters of the Conservative party nationally.

Another protestor, retired Hugh Legge, 71, spoke in the council meeting itself to remind the council of the “controversial” sale of the Sekhemka artefact from Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in 2014, when Mr Mackintosh was leader of the borough council.

He said: “This jewel of the museum’s collection was sold at auction after a very questionable deal between NBC (Northampton Borough Council) and Lord Northampton.

“So questionable that the council’s legal costs had mounted to over £40,000 in June 2014.”

Despite last week saying the MP had “damaged the reputation” of the Conservative Party, the Northampton South Conservatives Association appeared to rally round him yesterday.

Chairman, Councillor Suresh Patel, said; “We will continue to work with David as our MP so that our area can have the strong voice we need in Parliament.”

Labour group leader on the borough council, Councillor Danielle Stone: “We held a demonstration last night before the Council meeting and people walking passed along St Giles Street gave us their support. Clearly there is anger about the role a local MP played in the NTFC loan debacle. We know some members of Northampton South Conservative Association support us. We are not going to let this issue rest and we are going to keep up the pressure.”

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