An Essex MP has angered people bidding for the title UK City of Culture by branding rival towns as "absolute dumps". David Amess, MP for Southend East is leading the bid for the accolade in Essex.
He's suggested that the other towns bidding for the City of Culture accolade are not up to scratch. But Hastings Council Leader Jeremy Birch insists his town's bid is serious and has invited David Amess to Hastings for a guided tour.
"I don't know when he last visited our town, indeed if he ever has. We can take him to the Jerwood Gallery and to the De la Warr," said Cllr Birch
"Perhaps a walk in the Country Park and then in the evening, we can listen to three piano concertos played by the competition finalists. But the coffee is on him! Hastings and Bexhill have every reason to bid for City of Culture status."
More top news
Did Father Christmas bring you an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone for you to fly last night?
Lemurs and Emperor Tamarins at Cotswold Wildlife Park have been joining in the festive spirit.
Lucy has the Christmas Eve forecast for the east of the Meridian region.