The prospective Labour candidate for the hotly contested Camborne-Redruth-Hayle seat in Cornwall has denied he has knocked on doors dishonestly claiming to be a “local councillor” while canvassing for the General Election, which is likely to take place in the latter half of this year.

In the past few days a number of people have questioned Perran Moon’s local credentials, claiming that his election leaflets state he is a “local councillor”, which they say has been repeated by him and his supporters while drumming up support in mid Cornwall, when he was actually a councillor in Oxfordshire.

Accusations have also been made that Mr Moon doesn’t live in Cornwall and merely visits the constituency from Oxfordshire.

Mr Moon says the allegations are not correct. The comments were made following a story we published about his political rival Connor Donnithorne failing to state he is a Conservative on a recent election leaflet which was delivered to homes in Camborne, Redruth and Hayle.

“Perran knocked on my door in October. He called himself a local councillor,” wrote G Dawes, while Redruth Voter said: “Peregrine Moon (aka Perran) has a nice line in his leaflets about being a ‘local councillor’, that’s also what I was told on the door by one of his people, dressed fetchingly in red. I am not sure how local Oxford is to Cornwall, but if ever there was a dishonest statement that was it. How local is he?”

“Hang on. I heard Perran on Radio Cornwall call himself a local councillor. Googled him and he has lived in the south east for the last 25 years. Does he live in Cornwall full time Monday to Sunday,” asked C Cook.

The answer is yes, basically, according to Mr Moon.

He told us: “Until May last year I was a district councillor in Banbury. I have never said that I am or have ever been a local councillor. I stood down last May in order to move home which I did in August. I now live full-time just outside Redruth, where I was born and first went to school, although my job requires me to work outside Cornwall on Tuesday, Wednesday and sometimes Thursdays. Other than that, I’m here and visiting and talking to local people.

“If I’m elected as the MP that will also mean I will be working in London two or three days a week.

“No one working on my campaign has ever said I am a ‘local councillor’. I was a district councillor in Banbury, which people may have confused with being a ‘local councillor’.”

He added: “My dad, Dr Charles Moon, lives in Porthtowan and my mum in Nancledra so I regularly visited them and other family in Cornwall while I was living in Oxfordshire. It’s not like I was away for 20 years and have suddenly just turned up.”

Mr Moon faced criticism last year that he was trying to palm himself off as more Cornish than he is after changing his name from Peregrine to Perran. Jennifer Trelawney, an administrative worker in the health sector, said she Googled ‘Peregrine Moon’ and was “astounded” to find Companies House records of the name change in January 2022, which she said seemed to coincide with Labour starting its selection process to choose a prospective parliamentary candidate in the Redruth and Camborne constituency.

Mr Moon said the accusations were baseless and insisted he’s been known as Perran since he was seven years old. The Redruth-born, Penzance-educated businessman and former Penzance cricket player defended his Cornishness, insisting it is ridiculous that he has to do so when there are far more important issues to deal with such as the cost of living crisis, rising unemployment, in-work poverty, food banks and a housing crisis.

Referring to his Conservative rival Connor Donnithorne’s failure to make it clear he was a Tory on his recent leaflet, Mr Moon added: “Every single Labour campaign leaflet will be Labour branded and endorsed by me. Because we’re not ashamed of our party’s record in government.”

The Camborne-Redruth-Hayle seat will be vacated by current incumbent, Conservative MP George Eustice, who announced last year that he won’t be standing again. Among others standing are Liberal Democrat Thalia Marrington, who is a local councillor, representing Mousehole and Newlyn.

Mr Moon – who is marketing director for a company called Believ which installs electric vehicle charging points – says he will campaign on a number of issues, including “rebuilding our health, social care and dentistry services. We’ll introduce incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, like Cornwall, to tackle the emergence of ‘dental deserts’ where no NHS dentists are taking on new patients.

“Labour will create the conditions for good quality renewable energy jobs, a huge area of opportunity for us in Cornwall, and work with our brilliant local colleges to ensure that opportunities to improve education and skills are realised. On fixing the Cornish housing crisis, there is no easy solution – we must provide more social rented and truly affordable housing to attract to Cornwall people who work in nursing and social care, to help relieve the pressure on our hard-pressed NHS and social care sectors.”

He said he would also fight to limit second homes and the number of short-term Airbnb holiday lets, and reduce energy bills through a “proper windfall tax on the excessive profits of the oil and gas companies”.