- Bournemouth University student Chris Hull received a rebuke from local Tory MP after emailing tuition fee concerns
- Arts student was told that "dialogue seems futile" due to their differing opinions
- Hull said he was 'incredibly surprised' by Conor Burns' frank response
Chris Hull, a 24-year-old Computer Animation Arts student at Bournemouth University, emailed his local MP Conor Burns - who was running for re-election - last week.
In the detailed letter, Chris raised concerns about the increased tuition fees which the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition introduced in 2010, the state of the "underfunded" NHS, the "overstretched" police force and the fact that Theresa May did not take part in a TV leadership debate despite calling the election.
A few days later, he received a reply from the Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East MP, saying that "detailed dialogue seems futile".
"I hope that you will learn as life goes on – as I have done – that the world does not owe you a living," he wrote.
Chris says he was "incredibly surprised" by the response and had to re-read it several times to check it really was a reply from the local Conservative candidate.
"I think the most shocking part of the email was the unnecessary personal attack," he told Esquire. "He seemed to basically be saying that I didn't understand his perspective because I didn't have the perspective of working for a living, which was rather presumptuous on his part considering we don't know each other.
"Rather than legitimately defend his promises from his leaflets and his viewpoints on issues, he just blamed me for not understanding. If that isn't bad enough, he didn't even consider it worthwhile trying to help me understand."
Chris, who wrote the letter after a Conservative leaflet came through his letterbox, said he was most surprised at the "lack of defence" from Mr Burns on the issues he had challenged him on.
"I think if you're going promote yourself to people and ask them to perhaps change their mind to support your perspective, you ought to be able to defend it. I have no doubts that Conor could defend his views if he wanted to. Most politicians tend to answer the question they want to answer, or skew facts to make them fit their perspective to wiggle off the hook as it were. My MP could not even engage with a young voter effectively, and if anything, was counterproductive in garnering support."
Chris says it is "safe to say" he did not vote Conservative in the election. The seat where Mr Burns was standing is a Tory safe seat but, similar to other parts of the country, the Labour party witnessed more support than in previous elections and their vote share increased by 18.5 per cent.
Since uploading the two letters on Facebook, the post has been shared more than 300 times and liked more than 200.
Mr Burns did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Esquire. On Wednesday morning, Chris said he received an apology email and a much more detailed response to his initial email overnight.