WOW, and I mean wow. Who would have thought that Warrington would find itself at the centre of not one, not two but three national political rows.

Ladies and gentlemen, first up I give you the somewhat controversial selection of Wendy Maisey by Warrington Conservatives as a candidate for the Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft ward in next month’s Warrington Borough Council elections.

You may recall that Ms Maisey was at the centre of some rather unpleasant publicity when the contents of what she believed to be private WhatsApp remarks were made public.

Without going into too much detail, the messages related to Warrington North’s Labour MP Charlotte Nichols and referenced her religion and sexuality.

Ms Nichols Nichols has said she converted to Reform Judaism in 2014 and she identifies as LGBT.

But the news that Ms Masey, instead of keeping her head below the parapet, was indeed standing in the election prompted a stinging retort from MP Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, who said: “We all have a responsibility to call out anti-Semitism when we see it.

“But even after investigating, the Conservatives appear to be happy to endorse a candidate who accused a Jewish MP of lying about her religion and using her sexual orientation to win votes.

“These views have absolutely no place in politics."

Ms Nichols, needless to say, isn’t too happy either saying: “In February this year, Conservative Party chair Amanda Milling confirmed that the party is investigating the Warrington Conservative Association for a number of anti-Semitic, biphobic and other hateful WhatsApp messages about me.

“As Wendy Maisey was a significant contributor to these messages it is highly inappropriate that she should be a candidate for public office at this election, while the investigation is continuing.”

Anyway, a spokesman for the Conservatives said Ms Maisey has apologised for any offence caused and has undertaken ‘thorough diversity training’.

Does that make everything ok now, I wonder.

One of the problems of taking the moral high ground is you have to be pretty certain that once you are on your lofty peak there isn’t something waiting to knock you down.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you controversy No 2 and this time it’s Ms Nichols who is in the firing line.

According to the Warrington Guardian, she posted a tweet – including a photo of a leaflet – showing her campaigning for the party's Orford council candidates. The leaflet said ‘delivering for you in tough times’ and highlighted a range of issues, including ‘dealing with traveller incursions’.

And it’s the use of the word ‘incursion’s that has got some people very upset, sparking a rapid apology from Ms Nichols who said: She said: “I would like to unreservedly apologise for the offence and hurt that I have caused to the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community.

“I have spoken to the local Labour Party, the leaflet has been withdrawn and the leaflet will be destroyed."

The fact is the word incursion can have a number of meanings depending on usage but I would suggest that the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, which Ms Nichols is, might have been a little more careful with her words.

Just a thought but maybe Wendy Masey could suggest a good ‘thorough diversity training’ course.

And so on to controversy No 3. According to the Daily Mail, there were exchanges on Warrington Labour’s private WhatsApp group sparked by former MP Faisal Rashid, who posed the question: “Should Union flags fly every day? Are flags a sign of unity and patriotism or do they divide us?”

Now I happen to think that’s a reasonable question and the responses from the Labour group members generally were opposed to the government’s flag-waving policy. Rebecca Knowles, cabinet member for adult social care, is reported to have replied: 'It's chilling. There's nothing at all wrong about being proud of your nationality but this all feels pretty creepy and I must say as the mum of a biracial family it makes me feel very nervous indeed.”

That sounds like a pretty considered response on a topic of national debate but according to the Daily Mail, those opinions have provoked ‘fury’ and ‘outrage’. I am, however, wondering exactly who is furious and outraged as the reporter doesn’t actually provide any evidence to support that assertion.

For what it’s worth, I’m not furious and I’m not outraged. As Samuel Johnson said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”