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US midterm elections 2018

Anger in British village of Jaywick Sands, used in US election ad as warning to ‘Help President Trump keep America on track’

  • The file photo of houses in the Essex village was used by Republican Nick Stella to show how America would look without Trump
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 4:53am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 5:29am

A street in a village in Essex, Britain, has been used by a US congressional candidate to warn Americans of how their country could look if voters do not support Donald Trump.

A picture of a row of houses in Jaywick Sands, near Clacton, features in an advert for Republican Nick Stella’s campaign with the slogan: “Help President Trump keep America on track and thriving.”

The image, showing the British seaside village looking rundown with unpaved roads, was used to attack the Democrat Bill Foster, Stella’s opponent in the 11th Illinois congressional district in the US midterm elections. The message on the advert continued: “We can’t go back to foreclosures, unemployment and economic recession.”

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It was shared on Stella’s campaign page on Facebook and received criticism from residents and the local authority, Tendring district council. The ad was also widely mocked on Twitter.

A UK government index ranked Jaywick Sands as the most deprived neighbourhood in England in 2010 and 2015.

Paul Honeywood, a Tendring council cabinet member with special responsibility for Jaywick Sands, condemned the ad. “For starters, Dr Stella is very out of date – Essex county council completed a two-year £6.5 million (US$8.3 million) programme to improve the roads and drainage in Jaywick Sands in 2017,” he said.

“Since the old image used in this campaign poster was taken, support from government, Essex county council and other bodies has helped to build upon the work we as a council were already doing to improve the quality of life for residents.”

The councillor added that they now had new roads and high-quality council homes. The community was “on the up”, he said.

“I know that many Jaywick Sands residents will be outraged at being smeared in this way – and rightly so. Perhaps Dr Stella would like to come down and visit Jaywick Sands to learn about how we really get things done, rather than engaging in this sort of negative campaigning?”