Political heavyweights Andrew Chard and Martin Horwood in Twitter row
TWO political heavyweights have engaged in a bitter spat on Twitter.
Martin Horwood, Cheltenham's Liberal Democrat MP, has been arguing with Andrew Chard, the chairman of the town's Conservative Association.
Councillor Chard (C, Leckhampton) had tweeted earlier this month that Mr Horwood had skipped an event raising awareness of homelessness in Cheltenham.
Mr Horwood defended himself, saying he had missed the event because his wife was ill and he was "looking after the kids".
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But rather than let the matter end, the arguments got more heated. Mr Chard accused the Liberal Democrats of an alleged 'cheap' shot in election campaign literature, saying it stating he had missed a meeting.
He told the Echo he had missed a meeting but only because he had a pre-arranged holiday.
But Mr Horwood tweeted: "No apology then? No idea about you taking holidays during council meetings, but hardly the same as being there for kids and sick spouse."
That is when Mr Chard questioned the MP's voting record in Parliament. He tweeted: "You were absent from tuition fees and same sex marriage votes. Your friends hit out at me and I'm fighting back. It hurt me."
Mr Horwood replied: "I score 'well above average' for participating in Commons debates. Shall we compare with your friends?! Play Nice. Apologise."
â Mr Chard told the Echo: "He had personal reasons for not being at tuition fees and personal reasons for not being at the gay marriage vote.
"He seems to have personal reasons for everything."
Mr Horwood said: "I probably should not have risen to it, but I thought an apology might have been nice.
"Andrew has always been polite to me in person so I think he should be equally polite on Twitter, but I don't intend to make a big deal out of it."