A rare bright spot when Theresa May lost her majority in the 2017 general election was that the Tories won Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years.
Ben Bradley, the telegenic winner from the former mining town, won again in 2019 with an astonishing majority of 16,300 votes as Labour’s legendary red wall crumbled.
The political earthquake is captured in the documentary REDt’BLUE shown tonight in the Boothroyd Hall in the Commons.
(A fitting place, given that it is named after former chairwoman Betty Boothroyd whose West Bromwich West constituency also fell to the Tories in 2019.)
The film is essential viewing for all longtime complacent MPs, as it shows how Sir Alan Meale, the MP for Mansfield for 30 years, squandered a Labor majority that once exceeded 20,000.
A rare bright spot when Theresa May, pictured in Mansfield in 2017, lost her majority in the 2017 general election was that the Conservatives won Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years.
Mansfield’s 71% vote for Brexit in the 2016 referendum should have been a wake-up call for Europhile Meale.
In the 23-minute documentary, Bradley explains that it was European immigration – encouraged by Tony Blair – that helped him win back disillusioned workers.
“If you’re a guy in your 50s or 60s who came out of the pits and tried to start a plumbing business, there were already thousands of Eastern Europeans in the same market.” It made it very difficult,” he says.
The 2017 result was such a shock that the film shows the moment interim returning officer Jacqueline Collins, used to Labor always winning, declares Meale the winner.
“I’m so sorry,” she fumed. “I declare that Benjamin Bradley was elected and I apologize.”
Former Conservative chancellor and EU chief cheerleader Ken – now Lord – Clarke told the Policy Exchange.
“I never use the word Brexit in a conversation. It just puts people off. I don’t want people…to say, ‘Oh, that’s an old Remoaner still arguing’.’
Can you please persuade Remoaning Lord Heseltine, to take the same vow of silence?
Yeah minister it’s true to life
Anyone who remembers Yes Minister on TV may have thought it was far-fetched – but the actual politics are often even more ridiculous.
Journalist Peter Riddell’s book 15 Minutes Of Power: The Uncertain Life Of British Ministers recounts when former Tory MP Patrick McLoughlin received the aviation and shipping brief in 1989.
He pointed out: “There are two problems with this. I have the most landlocked constituency, West Derbyshire, in the UK and I’m afraid to fly.
To which Cecil Parkinson, then Transport Secretary, replied: ‘Excellent, you’ll bring an open mind to the subject’
Will Prince Andrew attend the British Legion’s Falklands 40th Anniversary Ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in June?
Or will Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace tell the former helicopter pilot not to bother dusting off his South Atlantic war medals?
Congratulations to Labor MP Tulip Siddiq, pictured, for her fight to free voter Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran?
Congratulations to Labor MP Tulip Siddiq for her fight to free voter Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran.
Will Siddiq now help “disappeared” political activists in Bangladesh, where her aunt Sheikh Hasina Wazed is Prime Minister?
Some peers deserve their £323 per diem for just showing up.
His Labor counterpart Lord Berkeley, 82, reveals in House magazine how long it takes to get to Westminster from his home.
‘Travelling from Bryher in the Isles of Scilly where I live involves a walk along the beach to Anneka’s Quay, a boat to Tresco, a helicopter to Penzance, a short ride on my Brompton e-bike to the station, then a train to London and cycle again to the lords. Eight hours, weather permitting.
Good for him.
Everton manager Frank Lampard gives post-match interview
Fair Kop: Frank is a conservative
On the Frank Skinner Show podcast, the comic says: ‘Someone told me Frank Lampard [pictured] somehow announced his support for the Conservative Party. And now he’s Everton manager, Liverpool fans on the Kop call him Frankie Det-tori [geddit?].’