Tory MP accused of 'thirst trap' posting over topless pictures as nuclear waste row intensifies

Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes.
Ben Everitt was accused of posting "thirst trap" pictures by a political rival. Credit:

A Conservative MP has been accused of posting "thirst trap" pictures of himself topless on social media as a row with a council leader over nuclear waste intensified.

Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes, posted pictures of himself sunbathing and swimming in August as he trained for the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.

The pictures were criticised by Peter Marland, the Labour leader of Milton Keynes City Council, amid a heated debate on whether the city had ever been considered as a site for nuclear waste.

The council leader’s comments came as he was accused of scaremongering over what he had called “plans to dump nuclear waste in Milton Keynes” despite the government issuing a flat-out denial of his claims, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Responding to the MP, Mr Marland said: “I am not a liar. What you should do [...] is that the MP in question should put his shirt on and should stop taking 'thirst trap' pictures.

“Get off the ski slope and actually start representing the people of Milton Keynes. What they should have said was, ‘the first I heard about this, I got on the phone, and I stopped it from happening’.”

The term thirst trap refers to a type of social media post designed to attract attention.

Milton Keynes MP Ben Everitt, centre, in 2022 with then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Credit: PA

The council leader spoke after Conservative councillor Liam Andrews suggested that the confidence in the council’s ability to keep necessary information confidential had been “destroyed” following Mr Marland’s comments.

Mr Everitt described Mr Marland’s claims as a “complete fantasy” in later comments to the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service.

He said: “I don’t know why they’re still digging, having been so badly caught out scaremongering earlier this week.”

He added: “Nuclear Waste Services have confirmed that no site in Milton Keynes has entered a consideration process by the government.

“For blindly obvious reasons. It’s not a plan. It never was a plan. It’s utterly misleading to claim there is or was a plan.”

Peter Marland, leader of Milton Keynes City Council. Credit: PA

The MP said Mr Marland should not have disclosed that a meeting had taken place between Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) and the council, to alert the council that a private individual had made an enquiry about a site for the disposal of nuclear waste.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said that NWS notifying the council of a party interested in a site to dispose of nuclear waste did not amount to a proposal for Milton Keynes to host nuclear waste.

A spokesperson said: “Nuclear Waste Services is not considering any locations in or near Milton Keynes as a site for the storage or disposal of radioactive waste.

“Milton Keynes was never formally part of the geological disposal facility process, which is based on the need for both a suitable site and a willing community.”

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