THE Liberal Democrat candidate for St Helens South and Whiston has said politicians need to be “more honest” after admitting they have lost the trust of the general public.

Brian Spencer, a former leader of St Helens Council, is looking to take the seat held by Marie Rimmer – another former council leader – since 2015.

Mr Spencer led St Helen Council for four years under a power sharing agreement with the Tories, before losing his seat in 2012.

Since then he has had several failed attempts at re-joining the council and also stood in St Helens South and Whiston at the 2015 and 2017 general elections.

The former council leader said the current political climate is “off-putting”, admitting that the trust people once had in politicians has gone.

“Politicians themselves, they’ve got to be a bit more honest,” Mr Spencer said.

“It’s happening now. You can see it everywhere, on the side of buses and all sorts nowadays.

“I think there is a toxic atmosphere and very, very personalised.”

Mr Spencer said social media is being increasingly used to attack politicians and spread lies.

He also accused some sections of the broadcast media of being “dishonest”, saying the press have “a lot to answer for”.

Mr Spencer claimed politicians are “afraid” of telling the truth because they fear it will be twisted by the press and used against them.

Mr Spencer also slammed Channel 4 for using of an ice sculpture to stand in for Boris Johnson during a debate on climate change last week.

“I thought that was disgusting,” Mr Spencer said.

“I don’t like Johnson. To be honest I think he’s a buffoon.

“However, I don’t think it is up to the media to dictate who a party puts forward.”

St Helens Star:

Mr Spencer said tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express has “drip-fed rubbish” to readers for 25 years, turning them against the European Union.

The Liberal Democrat candidate said he has been a “strong advocate” of the EU since the argument was made for joining in 70s.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has promised to revoke Article 50 if the party gets into power, essentially cancelling Brexit.

However, Mr Spencer believes the people should still get to decide on the issue via a People’s Vote, which was the party’s previous policy under Vince Cable and in-line with Labour’s current Brexit policy.

At a local level, Mr Spencer believes Labour has taken its vote in St Helens for granted for “many years” and said the town is in need of something “fresh”.

Mr Spencer said: “I think St Helens does need a change and that’s why I’d ask people to vote for me to give that change and I shall ensure their voices are heard and the truth’s told.

“It comes back to your first question, truth and honesty in politics, and that’s what we should have.”