Tory Humiliation As Michael Gove's Replacement Slammed For Calling Airbnb His Home

Has Ed McGuinness actually moved to the constituency where he is standing, or is he staying in a holiday rental?
Ed McGuinness, the Tory candidate for Surrey Heath
Ed McGuinness, the Tory candidate for Surrey Heath
X, Ed McGuinness

The Conservative candidate for Michael Gove’s former constituency has been rumbled after he claimed he had moved to the local area.

Ed McGuinness posted on social media on Saturday that he had relocated to Surrey Heath, where he is standing, ahead of the general election.

However, users on X (formerly Twitter) were quick to point out that he was actually just renting out an Airbnb.

Everything started to go wrong for McGuinness when he announced his supposed new home with a celebratory message on X, which started: “PERSONAL NEWS KLAXON.”

He continued: “Surrey Heath residents, rightly, expect their MP to be a part of their community.

“Well as of today I am now a resident of St Paul’s ward!”

Referring to the levelling up minister who recently announced he was quitting at the election, McGuinness added: “As many of you will appreciate Michael Gove stepped down with a short timeframe to select me and it’s hard to get a place so quickly.

“I’ve said in previous messages my fiancé and I were moving in, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more explicit on timeframes as I didn’t want to jinx it, but now I am so happy to live here and honoured to stand and represent our great residents!”

He attached three photos of himself holding the keys to the property, using the keys, and then standing inside a kitchen, as proof.

But, the community notes – which add context to posts on the social media platform – read: “This property is a 1-month short-term let via the property rental platform Airbnb.

“The original post may mislead readers to think they now permanently live in the constituency.”

There is no obligation for candidates standing at the election to live in the constituency they are trying to represent.

And, as the Liberal Democrats pointed out, McGuinness’s address is listed as Putney on his nomination papers.

Still, the Tory candidate defended himself and told PA news agency: “It’s a former Airbnb that I’m now renting while I look to buy.

“To get a place within 100 hours of being selected is a great achievement (if you know an estate agent who can work it out sooner please let me know!) and demonstrates my commitment to Surrey Heath.

“Presumably the landlord had it listed on Airbnb and didn’t immediately remove it as soon as I moved in.”

According to the BBC, the listing has now been removed from the rental platform.

Among the three millions users who have seen the post, a few shared photos of the property on the website, revealing that it was described as a “light and airy self contained annex” and a “guest favourite” on the site.

The embarrassing gaffe came shortly after Gove himself had endorsed his potential successor at his campaign launch.

The outgoing minister, who has been a major figure within the party for years and has unsuccessfully run for Tory leader, posted on X that the “fantastic” McGuinness will “make a superb MP for Surrey Heath”.

Gove has held the seat – once considered one of the party’s safest – since 2005.

However, the 2019 general election saw a surprise 11.1% swing towards the Liberal Democrats, although Gove still won comfortably with a majority of 18,349.

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