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Taunton constituency MP Jeremy Browne has called on Conservative Mark Formosa to apologise for his inaccurate scare story claiming that an extra 300 jobs would be lost at the Hydrographic Office.

UKHO Chief Executive Michael Robinson has said Mr Formosa's media announcement was "not accurate and may cause unnecessary alarm". He has asked Mr Formosa to remove the false claim from his website.

Jeremy Browne said:

"The Hydrographic Office is a major employer in Taunton Deane and I was delighted to be actively involved in the successful campaign in 2007 to keep the UKHO in our area. Like all organisations, it needs to remain efficient and serve its customers effectively, and I am proud that it will continue to contribute to the economy and status of Taunton Deane.

"Mark Formosa has a reputation for consistently displaying terrible judgement and a disregard for basic facts. Whether it is due to ignorance or malice, he seems determined to rubbish the Hydrographic Office and its dedicated employees.

"Mark Formosa is entitled to make a fool of himself, but it is wrong and damaging for him to be constantly talking-down Taunton Deane. He should be supporting vital employers like the Hydrographic Office. Instead the Chief Executive of the UKHO is having to spend his valuable time correcting Mark Formosa's inaccurate and politically-inspired scare stories.

"I frequently speak to former Conservative supporters who feel unable to vote for a candidate who has repeatedly shown himself to be unsuitable for our area. It alarms them that the Conservative party has chosen a candidate who is so out-of-touch and who causes so much unnecessary offence. Many decent former Conservatives will despair that their worst fears about Mark Formosa have yet again been shown to be true."