Contradictory article in The Sun lambasted by Wisbech community Facebook group: ‘shoddy’ journalism claims councillor

17:39 28 April 2014

The Sun on Sunday.

The Sun on Sunday.

Archant

An on line community Facebook page is fielding calls for a boycott of The Sun after its Sunday edition ran a double page spread describing Wisbech as ‘Little Lithuania’.

In what the paper described as an ‘exclusive’ it purported to show how the town’s population of Lithuanians had allegedly caused racial tensions and had allegedly taken on jobs at lower pay than English workers.

But the tone of the article has angered many – especially a sub head referring to local shops which claimed a “quarter of High Street run by them”

Of the Lithuanian workers it also claimed on that “many of them have come looking for work and it is available to them for £50 per day”.

But on the facing page it contradicted itself by claiming migrant workers “can earn up to £140 a day working on the surrounding farms.”

Many on the Facebook community site ‘Wisbech Oh Dear’ are calling for townsfolk to boycott the paper.

One estate agent wrote: “Not that I have regularly read the Sun newspaper but I do have a sudden affinity for Liverpudlians in totally boycotting the red top forever in light of recent events.”

Independent councillor Virginia Bucknor said: “I am absolutely convinced it is being done to whip up racial disharmony just before the Euro elections.

“UKIP took over Wisbech in the county elections from the Conservatives in last year’s county elections and I believe some people think they can cause friction/news/electoral success.”

Councillor Steve Tierney, who is also chairman of Wisbech Conservatives, branded the Sun “a dirty newspaper, shoddy ‘journalism’”.

Elizabeth McManus asked “why it the tabloids pick on Wisbech? The Mail did it a couple of years back.”

On Twitter Wisbech Labour Party member Dean Reeves said “This is the lead up to an election and skies will surely darken.”

More than 30 people re-tweeted comments by Wisbech Standard editor John Elworthy who said the article was “bereft of facts, a nasty tasteless take on Wisbech by yet another of Fleet Streets ‘finest’ unleashed on our town.”

Mr Elworthy also said the reference to High Street shops being run by ‘them’ was “appalling. How absolutely dare they”.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK? Email your comments to john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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