A PARLIAMENTARY candidate has called East Cowes 'very depressing' and said it was like visiting 'another country' — but the local councillor has hit back.

After campaigning in East Cowes yesterday, Carl Feeney, an Independent Network candidate for the Isle of Wight, raised concerns on his IOW Fixed Link Facebook page about the state of the town.

He said: "I know this is not the correct thing to say when you are campaigning — it is not politically correct — I am really very concerned.

"Today we took the campaign bus to East Cowes. It was as if we had gone to another country — very depressing."

He also called the Red Funnel terminal and car park a 'bomb site' as it 'takes over more of the town', appearing to have 'stripped the souls and hopes from nearby residents'.

Mr Feeney then urged people to vote for him so they 'can have their town back' and 'freedom'.

Now Isle of Wight Councillor Karl Love, ward representative for East Cowes, as well as standing as an independent parliamentary candidate, has said the comments are 'not necessary' and 'the outburst of a desperate man looking for votes to justify his fixed link'.

He said: "I am disgusted that Mr Feeney would come to our town and not say a single inspirational word about how important our heritage is and how we can build a future fit for all in creating new jobs and technologies.

"The progress our people are making in raising our community profile and spirit is fantastic — 2019 has been an incredibly positive year for our town and community and Mr Feeney has no concept of all that hard work in raising our community profile.

"He should apologise for the way he presents our town to the world."

Cllr Love has called residents of his town 'creative, innovative and caring, far from being depressed'.

"We are a proud people and we do not need negativity to hurt our future plans and undermine all the great work that our community groups are doing."

Mr Feeney has since confirmed he stands by his comments

He said: "Having spoken with many East Cowes residents on Tuesday, they gave clear indication that they are fed up with the local politicians who are letting them down, so they now won’t vote at all this election."