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UK Politics

Shadow Labour Minister Helen Goodman red-faced after confusing Ingleton, Co Durham and Ingleton, North Yorks


Its Wikipedia entry is remarkably short on details, describing Ingleton in Co Durham merely as a village eight miles from Darlington.

But that can offer little succour to local MP Helen Goodman who angered constituents this weekend when she opened their village fair and classic vehicle show mistaking it for its better known namesake 70 miles away across the border in North Yorkshire.

Whilst the shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport eulogised Ingleton’s extraordinary natural beauty of waterfalls and caves as well as its connection to Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, her astonished audience rapidly realised she had made the all-too-common error of confusing the two villages.

Whereas Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts with its limestone geology and celebrated White Scar caves, Ingleton in Co Durham, home to a Methodist chapel and school, is little known beyond the population of 400.

Ms Goodman, who has represented the seat of Bishop Auckland for Labour since 2005, apologised for the blunder. “I am sorry that I made the mistake. It was an honest accident on my behalf and some people pointed it out to me on the day,” she said.

Organisers of Ingleton Village Fair and Classic Vehicle Show said it was unlikely she would be invited back. Tony Todd, who attended the event, told The Northern Echo: “I looked at my family and I thought what is she babbling on about? She dug a big hole for herself. If it had been 1 April I would have thought it was a set up. I think she is a disgrace and she has made a lasting impression on me. I would not vote for her.”