Matthew Symonds, subject of an allegation that he referred twice to liveaboard boaters as gits has cut his holiday in Holland short to publish this, official, rebuttal.
Yes, I remember you, the good work that you were involved in at the Bristol Wood Recycling project in Bristol and the brief time we met outside the Southville Centre when you and my former colleagues were attending the training session there, but that’s where our memories start to differ I’m afraid.
I’m sure I would have mentioned that my new job was challenging and rewarding – but as I have already stated, the words attributed to me are not ones that I said – it’s not even a term I generally use. I’ve said many times, publicly and privately, that living on the canals can be a great lifestyle – but it’s important to be aware what is involved. We’re also obligated [sic] to fairly apply the rules as set down in the Act of Parliament to all boaters.”
Speculation has been mounting about whether Matthew would do the honourable thing and ‘fess up or entrench himself and call his former colleague a lair. It seems now it is the latter.
The non-seqitur seems a little strange to our ears. You meet a bunch of old colleagues and say “living on the canals can be a great lifestyle but it’s important to be aware what is involved”. Sounds more like his standard press statement than a casual response to “How’s the new job”.
But he asked us to print his rebuttal so we leave you to draw your own conclusions in this ‘her word against mine’ Mexican standoff.
The full text of Mr Symonds’ reply can be found here: