Published: March 1, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea's MP branded 'publicity-hungry lunatic' by Tory MP

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt has been branded a "publicity-hungry lunatic" by a Conservative MP this week after she was filmed with anti-nuclear campaigners who were occupying a barn on the site of Hinkley Point's proposed nuclear power station.

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says he will be making a formal complaint to House of Commons authorities over the alleged "illegal" actions of Tessa Munt.

It comes after Tessa visited the camp before EDF Energy, developers of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, brought a High Court action and won a possession order and an injunction preventing the campaigners' return.

A film showing Tessa Munt's visit appeared on YouTube, as shown on the right.

Ms Munt said that all but the last few feet of her route to the camp from a public road was via a public footpath and she had conversations with security staff as she passed.

Mr Liddell-Grainger is angry at Ms Munt’s actions, including the fact that she did not notify him that she was planning a visit within his constituency, which he said is normal practice.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said his constituency stands to gain a huge economic boost from the construction of the new power station.

He said: "All those benefits are apparently not worth having as far as Ms Munt is concerned, which is an odd standpoint because many of her own constituents are likely to end up being employed on the site."

"She was actually on that site illegally and has now been seen to be endorsing illegal activity. I would have thought her time would have been better spent looking for employment opportunities for her own constituency."

Tessa has apologised to him and sent a note to the Speaker of the House of Commons saying that it was not her intention to cause Mr Liddell-Grainger any offence.

She responded: "I am most surprised that Ian felt the need to hit out in such an aggressive manner towards me in the press rather than having a reasonable and more constructive meeting face to face about his concerns."

"It is no secret that I am not in favour of nuclear power, but my reasons have always been about what happens to the waste, which will be in Somerset for hundreds of years to come."

"I have spoken to people in my constituency employed there many times but it is also important to speak to people on the other side – they have a right to be heard, which is why I agreed to go and listen to what they had to say. We live in a democracy where people have the right to protest and we as politicians should listen to all sides."

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