Tory candidate’s new ‘constituency home’ turns out to be AirBnB listing

10 June 2024, 08:29

Ed McGuinness; new ‘constituency home’ turns out to be AirBnB listing
Ed McGuinness; new ‘constituency home’ turns out to be AirBnB listing. Picture: @Ed McGuinness / X

By Christian Oliver

The Conservative Party candidate replacing Michael Gove has boasted about moving into a home in the constituency, only for the property to emerge as an Airbnb listing.

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Ed McGuinness, the Tory candidate for Surrey Heath, posted an image of himself posing with his house keys outside what he said was his new home on Saturday. He was also pictured beaming in an open-plan kitchen.

"Surrey Heath residents, rightly, expect their MP to be a part of their community. Well as of today I am now a resident of St Paul’s ward!," the Belfast native wrote on X/Twitter.

"As many of you will appreciate Michael Gove stepped down with a short timeframe to select me and it’s hard to get a place so quickly. I’ve said in previous messages my fiancé and I were moving in, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more explicit on timeframes as I didn’t want to jinx it.

"But now I am so happy to live here and honoured to stand and represent our great residents!"

Mr McGuinness - an ex-Army officer-turned-JP Morgan banker - was abruptly called out by social media users who spotted the property was on the holiday rental site.

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The Tory candidate later told The Mirror: "It's a former Air BnB that I’m now renting while I look to buy. To get a place within 100 hours of being selected is a great achievement and demonstrates my commitment to Surrey Heath.

"Presumably the landlord had it listed on AirBnB and didn’t immediately remove it as soon as I moved in."

At the time of Mr McGuiness' tweet it appeared the home could be rented throughout July. The property had been taken down from the site on early Monday morning.

The Afghanistan veteran was announced as Mr Gove's replacement last week after the former education secretary, alongside almost 100 other Conservative MPs, decided to step down.

The Tories have a tough contest on their hands to retain the seat again - with polls showing the seat is currently a toss-up with the Liberal Democrats.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: "Mr McGuinness has confirmed he is in the process of moving to Surrey Heath on a permanent basis."

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