"They don't know who she is"
The small British town of Kettering is at the center of an international dispute over Lindsay Lohan’s apparently forgotten pledge to turn the Christmas lights on this year.
The Mean Girls actress agreed to the task in June, after criticizing the town’s vote to leave the E.U. “Sorry Kettering but where are you?” the anti-Brexit star wrote in a June 23 tweet, since deleted, singling out the Brexit-voting Northamptonshire town 81 miles north of London.
Infuriated at Lohan’s intervention, Conservative Members of Parliament Philip Hollobone and Chris Grayling debated the matter in Parliament a week later on June 30. “Everyone knows where Kettering is,” local lawmaker Hollobone said. “It’s famous as the home of Weetabix breakfast cereal, Cheaney’s and Loake’s shoes.” He then invited the star to atone for her tweet by switching the town’s Christmas light’s on, which Lohan accepted:
With the Nov. 24 ceremony fast approaching, the star has since gone silent on her June offer. “Despite everyone’s best efforts it’s not been possible to track her down to arrange the details of when, where, and how” Hollobone told Buzzfeed.
But local lawmakers tell TIME that Kettering residents are indifferent to whether Lohan attends the lighting ceremony. “I don’t think they give a sh—t to be honest,” says Maggie Don, a local Labour Party councillor. “They don’t know who she is.”
“Philip raised it in parliament for PR coverage,” Rhea Keehn, the Labour Party’s former parliamentary candidate for Kettering, tells TIME. “He doesn’t do a lot. The one bit of news he gets is leaving the E.U. or trying to get Lindsay Lohan to turn on the lights.”
Keehn, who lost to Hollobone in 2015’s general election, plans on contacting Lohan’s publicist herself because she thinks the pro-Remain Lohan might be avoiding the Conservative, pro-Leave lawmaker. “We could do something positive with her” she says. “We could do a session about women in public life, there would be a demand from people wanting to hear her experiences.”
The 31-year-old explains that while it would be “phenomenal” for a star with such a “fantastic career” to come to the small town of 90,000, the annual fete in the town center is usually presided by local, C-list celebrities: a local soap opera actor, for example, or reality show star. “If Lindsay’s publicist had any sense, he would tell her to stay away.”