While there has been a lot of talk of the diminishing power of the mainstream right-wing media to swing public opinion following the recent general election, one former Conservative MP has pointed the finger of blame for his defeat at a hyperlocal news site.
McCartney, had refused to give The Lincolnite any interviews in the run-up to the election.
In lieu of any comment from the MP, the online news service ran a report on his voting record and expense claims.
The Lincolnite also ran a paid advertisement from the Labour Party in the run up to the election.
The Lincolnite’s managing editor Daniel Ionescu spoke to journalists at Radio Lincolnshire to deny Mr McCartney’s allegations.
Ionescu said: “The accusations that he makes are quite unfounded. We ran one single story which was a fact file on his voting record and his official expenses from the parliamentary website for expenses and that was the only story we were able to run about the MP in Lincoln who was in power for seven years.”
Ionsecu was also quick to highlight that running a paid advert for the Labour Party was not a political endorsement and highlighted the fact that a number of regional titles had also carried prominent advertising for other parties during the election.
Ionsecu said: “We haven’t endorsed Karen Lee for Labour. We carried a paid promotion from Karen Lee, the Labour candidate, which is the same as a newspaper carrying a wraparound from the Conservative Party.”
Mr McCartney lost his seat to Labour’s Karen Lee by a margin of 1,538 votes.
Was it The Lincolnite that Won It for Labour in Lincoln? Even if it was – this hyperlocal news site isn’t likely to pull a Murdoch and start bragging about it – but wow – talk about a shift in power.