MP Peter Kilfoyle hits out at 'smear' tactics
by Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo
WALTON MP Peter Kilfoyle claims he is the victim of "smear tactics" after Everton fans reported him to a Parliamentary watchdog.
Members of the Keep Everton in Our City (Keioc) campaign opposed to the Blues' proposed move from Goodison Park to Kirkby have called for the probe.
It follows a letter sent by Mr Kilfoyle earlier this month to Baroness Andrews OBE who will decide whether or not to call in the Everton scheme for further scrutiny.
Mr Kilfoyle's letter supported the move.
A Keioc spokesperson said the Labour MP, whose constituency includes Goodison Park, had previously benefited from corporate hospitality at Everton which they say should have barred him from intervening in the planning process.
They added "We will be referring this matter to The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards as we believe that there are a number of matters that need to be clarified concerning Mr Kilfoyle's conduct."
The group also claims that Mr Kilfoyle was involved in meetings between Liverpool and Knowsley councils in 2006 relating to Everton's proposed relocation and is calling on him to clarify his role in the project.
But Mr Kilfoyle hit out at Keioc today, saying: "It is a smear tactic.
"They have extracted a line written six years ago in an article about European funding to twist my position.
"There has been a vote amongst supporters on this. I find their actions extraordinary. The idea that I have done anything improper in representing the interests of my constituents I find quite bizarre.
"I do not represent Everton Football Club, I do not represent Tesco, I do not even represent the football fans . . . I represent the entire constituency."
Everton's joint plan with supermarket giant Tesco proposes a ÃÂ£400m redevelopment of Kirkby town centre, including a 55,000-seat stadium for the club.
It has received planning permission from Knowsley council, but Baroness Andrews is deliberating on whether to call the scheme in for further examination.
Her decision is expected in days.