Houghton blames smear campaign for his defeat

Election 2016

The Douglas North election result

John Houghton losing his seat

Election 2016 The Douglas North election result John Houghton losing his seat

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John Houghton blamed his defeat in Douglas North on an ‘orchestrated smear campaign’ by Isle of Man Newspapers.

Mr Houghton, who was suspended from Tynwald after he was found to have ‘lied. bullied and inappropriately interfered’ in a staffing matter, told reporters after the result was announced at 11.20pm: ‘I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised.

‘I hold two people responsible for this smear campaign - I hold your newspaper to blame for it and I hold the Lambdens.’

Mr Houghton had complained to police after former third clerk of Tynwald Marie Lambden and her husband Murray posted comments on social media about him. Mrs Lambden resigned her post blaming the MHK’s actions, saying her integrity had been questioned, her position undermined and her health had suffered as a result.

Following advice from the Attorney General’s chambers, police asked the Lambdens not to post any further comments.

Mr Houghton told reporters: ‘There was an awful lot of support for me but not enough. In the Isle of Man now we have the gutter press tactics that happened in the UK with The Sun and The Mirror and those sort of people and unfortunately that’s what’s happening in the Isle of Man.’

He added that he was looking forward to a ‘fresh start’: ‘I’m disappointed, of course I am, but it’s not the end for me. Politics, when you move on from politics, gives you a whole new rich life. I’m out of politics - that’s the way it goes.’

David Ashford topped the poll, with 1,219 votes and Ralph Peake coming second with 1,177, comfortably beating Mr Houghton, with 775 votes, into third place.

Mr Ashford hailed a ‘new dawn in Manx politics’. He said: ‘It’s pretty clear from the result we see coming in around the island that the Manx public do not want the status quo..They want something different.’

He said the next five years were going to be tough and there was no chance that Tynwald members would be able to rest on their laurels. He said the last Tynwald had seen too much in-fighting between members.’

He said he had got a lot of trust to repay with constituents in Douglas North.

Mr Peake said he had learned a lot since he was first elected to the Keys in a by-election in May last year.

Karen Angela polled 287 and Lynn Sirdefield 343. Turn-out was 50.1 per cent.

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