Donna Edmunds

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Donna Edmunds is the Director of Research at Progressive Vision and a contributor to The Freedom Association. Before that she worked in the offices of Therese Coffey MP and Eurosceptic and climate sceptic, Roger Helmer MEP. [1] She is also a local Conservative councillor in Lewes. [2] She tweets at @DonnaInSussex.

In September 2011, Edmunds stepped down from her post as lead councillor for communications at Lewes District Council after mounting criticism of her calling a constituent a “village idiot” on Twitter in a debate about the NHS. She had tweeted to the constituent to “pay your taxes to die of cancer if that’s what you want”. [3][4] Before resigning, Edmunds apologised "unreservedly and whole heartedly to anyone who was offended by those comments, either cancer sufferers or NHS staff".[5]

Pro-Tobacco Activities

Against Tax Increases on Tobacco

In March 2011, in the run up to the Budget, Edmunds argued that "we at Progressive Vision would like to see the Government scrap the duty escalator due to be introduced which would see tobacco duty rise to 2% above inflation in the forthcoming 2011 Budget. In the longer term, we would also like the current policy of setting punitive taxes to disincentivise smoking to be revisited". [6]

The Letter to the Daily Telegraph

Also in March 2011, Donna Edmunds was one of 11 signatories of a Letter to the Editor to the Daily Telegraph attacking the Government's position on tobacco control and arguing against further restrictions.

Support for PMI's FOI Request for Stirling University Tobacco Research


  1. The Freedom Association, Contributors, Undated, Accessed December 2011
  2. Facebook,Donna Edmunds for Barcombe, Accessed December 2011
  3. James Wallin, Lewes councillor steps down after Twitter row, 16th September 2011; Accessed December 2011
  4. James Wallin, Lewes councillor steps down after Twitter row, 16th September 2011; Accessed December 2011
  5. Lewes councillor calls constituent 'an idiot' on Twitter, BBC News Sussex, 2 September 2011, accessed 22 March 2012
  6. Donna Edmunds, A truly progressive Government would lower tobacco duty, Progressive Vision, 9 March, 2011