Politics

Bury South Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour as Boris Johnson flounders over Partygate


Christian Wakeford had made little secret of his fury with Boris Johnson and the stench of sleaze emanating from the Conservative Party before his defection to Labour today.

The 37-year-old has been a vocal critic of the Prime Minister over Partygate and made headlines during the Owen Paterson lobbying saga with a foul-mouthed rant at the former minister.

Amid the chaos over the PM’s attempts to spare Paterson  from censure for lobbying for firms paying him a six-figure sum the father-of-one approached the then North Shropshire MP and called him a ‘c***’ for causing the situation.

It came after the Government instructed MPs to vote to change parliamentary sleaze rules to help out the former Northern Ireland Secretary, who later quit as an MP.

His decision to cross the floor to Labour today was the strongest manifestation of disgust at weeks and weeks of sleaze. 

But critics will point to the size of Mr Wakeford’s majority as well. He took the seat in 2019 – one of the Red Wall victories which propelled Boris Johnson to his massive election win. 

It was the first time the area had gone blue since 1997, but his majority is just 402 votes, one of the thinnest in the country. New polling today by Channel Four and JL Partners shows the Tories on course to lose his seat, along with 41 other Red Wall seats they took three years ago.

His move could also act as a pressure valve over Partygate for Boris, shocking fellow would-be rebels into calming down and taking attention off the PM himself. 

One Tory MP told the i newspaper that he had ‘just united the Tory Party’, while Michael Fabricant told MailOnline that Wakeford previously backed a new law forcing defecting MPs to seek re-election.

‘Let’s now see whether there’s an vestige left of his integrity and see if he will stand down so initiating a by-election as the Bill he promoted suggested,’ the Litchfield MP said.

But a Labour spokesman indicated the party’s leader believes there will be no need to hold a by-election in Bury South following Christian Wakeford’s defection. 

The 37-year-old has been a vocal critic of the Prime Minister over Partygate and made headlines during the Owen Paterson lobbying saga with a foul-mouthed rant at the former minister.

The 37-year-old has been a vocal critic of the Prime Minister over Partygate and made headlines during the Owen Paterson lobbying saga with a foul-mouthed rant at the former minister.

Before entering politics, Mr Wakeford worked for a telecommunications firm having studied politics at Lancaster University. He is married to Alexandria (pictured together after he won Bury South in 2019)

Before entering politics, Mr Wakeford worked for a telecommunications firm having studied politics at Lancaster University. He is married to Alexandria (pictured together after he won Bury South in 2019)

Critics will point to the size of Mr Wakeford's majority. He took the seat in 2019 - one of the Red Wall victories which propelled Boris Johnson to his massive election win.

Critics will point to the size of Mr Wakeford’s majority. He took the seat in 2019 – one of the Red Wall victories which propelled Boris Johnson to his massive election win.

Who is lining up against Boris Johnson? 

Ring leaders 

Dehenna Davison

Alicia Kearns

Gary Sambrook

Chris Loder

Other red wall assassins

Mark Logan

Lee Anderson:

Ian Levy

Simon Fell

Antony Higginbotham

Paul Howell

Robin Millar

Robert Largan

2019ers not in Red Wall seats

Ben Spencer

Greg Smith

Danny Kruger

Julie Marson

Anthony Browne 

Asked if, as far as Sir Keir Starmer is concerned, there is no principle requiring anyone who defects from one party to another to stand for re-election, the spokesman said: “Correct.”

On whether Mr Wakeford will face a trigger ballot in the coming months, the spokesman said: “We’ll set out all of the process, obviously, once we’ve had a chance to speak to people, the relevant people that vote in the local party and nationally, and we’ll happily set out the process at that point. But I don’t want to pre-empt that now.”

Also, his defection has not been welcomed by all in Labour, however. In a tweet, the leftwing Yong Labour organisation said: ‘Christian Wakeford MP should not be admitted to the Labour Party. 

‘He has consistently voted against the interests of working-class people; for the £20 universal credit cut, for the Nationality and Borders Bill and for the Police and Crime Bill. Young Labour does not welcome him.’

Mr Wakeford announced his decision in the Bury Times and sent a letter to Mr Johnson explaining why he had lost patience with his leadership.

Mr Wakeford said: ‘I care passionately about the people of Bury South and I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

‘Britain needs a government focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and providing a path out of the pandemic that protects living standards and defends the security of all.

‘It needs a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life and sadly both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.’

Mr Wakeford had been one of seven Tory MPs to publicly call for Mr Johnson to quit.

But Mr Johnson claimed the Tories could hold Bury South without him. Sir Keir goaded the PM  in the Commons that any more defectors were ‘welcome’, saying the Tories had shown they were ‘incapable’ of governing the country.

But Mr Johnson shot back: ‘As for Bury South, let me say to him, the Conservative Party won Bury South for the first time in a generation under this Prime Minister on an agenda of of uniting and levelling up and delivering for the people of Bury South. We will win again in Bury South.’

How could Boris Johnson be ousted by Tory MPs?  

Boris Johnson is under huge pressure over Partygate, with speculation that he might even opt to walk away.

But barring resignation, the Tories have rules on how to oust and replace the leader. 

What is the mechanism for removing the Tory leader? 

 Tory Party rules allow the MPs to force a vote of no confidence in their leader.

How is that triggered? 

 A vote is in the hands of the chairman of the Tory Party’s backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady.

A vote of no confidence must be held if 15 per cent of Tory MPs write to the chairman. Currently that threshold is 54 MPs.

Letters are confidential unless the MP sending it makes it public. This means only Sir Graham knows how many letters there are. 

What happens when the threshold is reached? 

A secret ballot is held, with the leader technically only needing to win support from a simple majority of MPs

But in reality, a solid victory is essential for them to stay in post.

What happens if the leader loses? 

The leader is sacked if they do not win a majority of votes from MPs, and a leadership contest begins in which they cannot stand.

However, when the party is in power the outgoing leader typically stay on as Prime Minister until a replacement is elected.

There is no requirement for a general election to be held, unless the new PM wants to call one.  

Before entering politics, Mr Wakeford worked for a telecommunications firm having studied politics at Lancaster University. He is married to Alexandria and they have a young daughter.

He has served as a Tory councillor on Lancashire County Council since 2013 and also previously worked as a case worker for Tory MP Andrew Stephenson. 

He served as the leader of the Tories on Pendle Borough Council.  

In Parliament, Mr Wakeford is a member of the Education Select Committee. 

He is also the co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews. 

He hit the headlines last year over a boozy trip to Gibraltar, in which the behaviour of MPs was criticised.

He and another Conservative on the trip were accused of carousing into the early hours on a visit to UK armed forces in the Mediterranean enclave.

The claims came after three opposition MPs were accused of drinking heavily before arriving in the British Overseas Territory with the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme – with one apparently having to be taken out of the airport in a wheelchair.

The SNP’s David Linden and Drew Hendry and Labour’s Charlotte Nichols were slated for showing a ‘lack of respect’ by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace after the ‘drunken’ display.

In his resignation letter, Mr Wakeford wrote: ‘My decision is about much more than your leadership and the disgraceful way you have conducted yourself in recent weeks.

‘However, I don’t believe all politicians are the same and I do believe in the power of politics to be a force for good. So does Keir Starmer.

‘He has shown that integrity in the way he has led his party on issues that matter to me, not least the vital challenge of combatting antisemitism.’

Sir Keir said Mr Wakeford had always put his constituents ‘first’.

‘As Christian said, the policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.’

It is the first defection from the Tories to Labour in 15 years, since Quentin Davies jumped ship. It comes amid claims that Mr Johnson wept as he begged MPs for more time last night.

The PM is alleged to have broken down in tears as he met wavering backbenchers yesterday – with one reportedly saying he ‘knows he is finished’.

No10 denied the claims amid a febrile atmosphere at Westminster, but it underlines the threat to his leadership as rebels gear up for a bid to oust him.

Mr Wakeford (back row, far left) hit the headlines last year over a boozy trip to Gibraltar, in which the behaviour of MPs was criticised. He and another Conservative on the trip were accused of carousing into the early hours on a visit to UK armed forces in the Mediterranean enclave

Mr Wakeford (back row, far left) hit the headlines last year over a boozy trip to Gibraltar, in which the behaviour of MPs was criticised. He and another Conservative on the trip were accused of carousing into the early hours on a visit to UK armed forces in the Mediterranean enclave

‘Britain needs a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life’: Christian Wakeford’s letter to Boris Johnson

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from the Conservative Party and apply to join the Labour Party.

From today I will be sitting as the Labour MP for Bury South because I have reached the conclusion that the best interests of my constituents are served by the programme put forward by Keir Starmer and his party.

I care passionately about the people of Bury South and I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

Britain needs a government focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and providing a path out of the pandemic that protects living standards and defends the security of all. It needs a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life and sadly both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.

Being elected as MP for Bury South was the proudest day of my life. I care passionately about the area and will always be grateful to those who have supported me. Today, however, I am in no doubt that they will be better served by my joining a party that genuinely has their interests at heart.

I have wrestled with my conscience for many months, and you will know that I have made my policy misgivings clear on many occasions in private and sometimes in public. I can no longer support a government that has shown itself consistently out of touch with the hard working people of Bury South and the country as a whole.

Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is back firmly in the centre of British politics, in touch with working people, and ready to provide an alternative government that this country can be proud of, and not embarrassed by.

My decision is about much more than your leadership and the disgraceful way you have conducted yourself in recent weeks. However, I don’t believe all politicians are the same and I do believe in the power of politics to be a force for good. So does Keir Starmer. He has shown that integrity in the way he has led his party on issues that matter to me, not least the vital challenge of combatting antisemitism.

I will always put the people of Bury South first and will continue to speak out for the changes the area needs. Changes that can only be delivered by a Labour government with Keir Starmer.

Yours,

Christian Wakeford

 

Meet the Pork Pie Plotters: Carrie’s ‘Red Wall poster girl’ ex-reality TV star friend, the ultra-ambitious ‘Melton Mowbray’ mother and the foul-mouthed MP who defected to Labour and once called a minister a ‘c***’ in the Commons

The ‘pork pie’ plotters are being led by mutinous Red Wall Tory MPs who believe they will be wiped out at the next election if the Prime Minister is not slung from office.

The group, branded ‘Boris’ Babies’ when they entered Parliament in 2019, are now being called ‘f***ing nobodies’ by Mr Johnson’s allies.

Senior party sources have pointed the finger at Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison and fellow Tory Alicia Kearns as ringleaders. As many as 20 recently-elected MPs are believed to have gathered at 1pm yesterday in the office of one of their number, Miss Kearns, which swiftly became known as the ‘Pork Pie Putsch’ because she represents Melton Mowbray.

Whips suspect three other relatively new backbenchers – Ms Davison from Bishop Auckland, Gary Sambrook, a freemason and MP for Birmingham Northfield and Chris Loder from West Dorset – of being among the ringleaders.  They are now being called the ‘grey wolves’ by some allies of the Prime Minister because ‘they were not socialised in Parliament during the pandemic’, according to Sky News.

One Cabinet source was furious at the lack of loyalty, telling The Times: ‘They were only elected because of him. Most of them are a load of f****** nobodies. It’s nuts.’

Downing Street is understood to be particularly annoyed about Miss Davison. Carrie Johnson, along with Dilyn, the PM’s dog, and Rishi Sunak had campaigned for her in 2019. And in a sign that all is not well, Nimco Ali, Carrie’s best friend tweeted today: ‘Honestly can’t believe the audacity of @DehennaDavison. Girl get a grip’. 

While the plotters whispered behind closed doors, another 2019-er admitted having sent in a letter of no-confidence in the PM. The plotters are said to have discussed submitting their letters en masse after Prime Minister’s Questions – with 11 now said to be in.

Christian Wakeford, the first Tory to represent Bury South in more than 20 years, became the seventh MP known to have written to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee. Last year he admitted he approached Owen Paterson and called him a ‘c***’ after the government instructed MPs to vote to change parliamentary sleaze rules. Today he defected to Labour but 

The plotters are said to have discussed submitting their letters en masse after Prime Minister’s Questions – with 11 now said to be in – but some way short of the 54 needed to spark a new leadership election.

These are the people believed to be leading the plot: 

Dehenna Davison with rescued puppy 'Carter' pictured next to Carrie Johnson with dog Dilyn and Rishi Sunak, canvasing in Bishop Auckland. She is thought to be one of the ringleaders

Dehenna Davison with rescued puppy ‘Carter’ pictured next to Carrie Johnson with dog Dilyn and Rishi Sunak, canvasing in Bishop Auckland. She is thought to be one of the ringleaders

The ringleaders 

#ToryGirlSquad: Carrie and Dehenna even took their respective rescue dogs Dilyn and Carter on the Tory campaign trail in 2019

#ToryGirlSquad: Carrie and Dehenna even took their respective rescue dogs Dilyn and Carter on the Tory campaign trail in 2019

Dehenna Davison has been named as one of the ringleaders of the plot to oust the PM, despite her close friendship with his wife Carrie, branding themselves the ‘Tory Girl Squad’.

The poster girl of the 2019 intake, she won with a majority of 7,962 – the first time seat has been represented by the Tories since it was created in 1885. 

But now she is said to be annoyed with the Prime Minister because two female Red Wall MPs have been promoted ahead of her. Ms Davison has not spoken publicly about whether she believes Boris should be thrown from office. 

Is she does, it would be an extraordinary turnaround for her, having heavily relied on Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie during her campaign to be Bishop Auckland’s MP. 

But in a sign that all is not well, Nimco Ali, Carrie’s best friend tweeted: ‘Honestly can’t believe the audacity of @DehennaDavison. Girl get a grip’.

Born in Sheffield, her father was attacked and died when she was 13. Ms Davison was just a young teenager when she learned her father Dominic had been killed by a single blow to the head in the pub.

Ms Davison, a Tory winner last night in a Co Durham seat which has never elected a Conservative MP, recalled how she sat in a hospital waiting room as doctors battled for 45 minutes to save her father’s life.

‘I can still picture it. I can tell you what the colour the walls were and everything,’ she said. ‘They [the doctors] stopped and I went to see my dad’s body, which is not something you expect to do at such a young age.’

In 2019 she beat Labour Remainer Helen Goodman. The Tory studied politics at Hull University and spent a year as an aide to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Ms Davison, who has received support on the campaign trail from Mr Johnson’s then girlfriend Carrie, said politics was about helping people ‘get their benefits claim through, getting a pothole filled’.

The former computer game shop worker admitted the ‘poster girl thing’ was probably due to her tragic backstory and her ‘slightly unusual demographics’. But she added: ‘I just want to get stuff done.’

Carrie Johnson's best friend Nimco Ali today told Dehenna, also a friend, to 'get a grip'

Carrie Johnson’s best friend Nimco Ali today told Dehenna, also a friend, to ‘get a grip’

Divorcing: After marrying Hull Tory councillor John Fareham, 35 years her senior, in her early twenties, the couple are now getting divorced. The pair appeared on Channel 4 show Bride and Prejudice during their relationship to talk about taboos surrounding age gap marriages

Divorcing: After marrying Hull Tory councillor John Fareham, 35 years her senior, in her early twenties, the couple are now getting divorced. The pair appeared on Channel 4 show Bride and Prejudice during their relationship to talk about taboos surrounding age gap marriages

Carrie Symonds tweeted her congratulations after her victory, saying she was thrilled to hear her friend had become the first Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland. ‘She will be fantastic,’ she wrote. 

The pair both own rescue dogs. A photo posted on social media by Davison in 2019 saw the pals campaigning with Symonds’ Jack Russell cross Dilyn and Davison’s terrier cross Carter. At the time, Davison posted the snap to her followers with the caption #ToryGirlSquad.

Of her friendship with Mrs Johnson, who’s recently found herself at the centre of the Downing Street renovation scandal, Davison said Carrie had been ‘incredible and offered loads of support and advice’ when she became one of the youngest MPs in the Commons after being elected in 2019 aged 26.

After the election, their pets even enjoyed a doggy playdate at the home Symonds now shares with the PM and their son Wilfred. Davison described the meet, saying it ‘wasn’t pretty’ but no damage was done to the flat’s interior furnishings.

Last year  Davison also revealed that she’s currently divorcing Hull Tory councillor John Fareham, the husband 35 years her senior with whom she appeared on Channel 4 show Bride and Prejudice with. 

Davison says appearing on the television programme about taboo relationships including large age gaps had proved ‘a learning curve’.

Last November she has said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by support after saying in an interview that she is bisexual. It is believed to be the first time a female Tory MP has come out as bisexual.

She told Times Radio she was now in a relationship, with a man, that was ‘going really well’. She also said she had used dating apps with ‘a kind of nickname’, as her first name is so distinctive she was worried she would be easily identifiable.

She said: ‘I didn’t say what I did for a living or anything like that. So it was a little bit more natural. I went on a few nice dates, dates with a few nice girls and a few nice guys. And it was just, you know, fun.’

Alicia Kearns

Rutland MP grabbing a pork pie in the market town of Melton Mo

Rutland MP grabbing a pork pie in the market town of Melton Mo

Alicia Kearns, who was an Amnesty International activist during her teenage years, was elected as MP for Rutland and Melton in 2019.

The alleged involvement of Miss Kearns led to the coup attempt being dubbed the ‘Pork Pie Plot’ – because she is MP for Melton Mowbray, the pork pie capital of the world.

The 34-year-old is a former press officer, working for the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the Foreign Office.

A mother of two, she is now a member of the Commons foreign affairs select committee. She has spoken out against some of the government’s lockdown restrictions, including Covid passports. 

The Tory MP, who replaced stalwart Alan Duncan,  has had her second child since being elected and has campaigned for mothers not to be alone in labour in hospitals, after some trusts banned partners.

She also weighed in on the debate over breastfeeding in the Commons chamber amid an outcry over Labour’s Stella Creasy being censured for carrying her son Pip, then aged three months.  

Rutland and Melton MP Ms Kearns, 34, said she has always been able to leave the chamber to feed her daughter and does not need to have that ‘live-streamed to the world’ from the Commons.

Ms Kearns, who announced the birth of her second child in January 2021, said: ‘Babies have no place in the chamber. I’ve asked to leave debates to feed my child a few times – I have never been turned down.

‘This is a debate about childcare that is wrongly being presented as one of rights and representation.’ 

Chris Loder 

Chris Loder at Dorchester West Station, where he used to be train guard

Chris Loder at Dorchester West Station, where he used to be train guard

Another MP said to be involved in the plot is Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset since 2019, replacing Oliver Letwin.  

Mr Loder said he had received 400 emails over recent days with the ‘vast, vast majority’ critical of the PM.

He said on Facebook: ‘With revelations concerning Downing Street parties over the last two years at its height, I’d like you to know that I and most of my colleagues feel deeply embarrassed and humiliated by such revelation’.

The 40-year-old was previously head of new trains for South Western Railway.

He started work as a train guard aged 18 at South West Trains, the firm which previously held the franchise.

Mr Loder is an opponent of ‘woke’ politics and he lists his hobbies as bell ringing in Dorset churches and playing his organ.

He attended the local state comprehensive and never went to university. 

His Christian faith has seen him speak out on a number of scandals gripping the Church of England in recent years.

This included when the Rt Rev Dr Joanna Penberthy, the Bishop of St Davids, told her congregation ‘never, never, never trust a Tory’. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was forced to apologise.

Loder, a practicing Anglican in the Church of England, wrote to Dr Penberthy telling her to resign over the ‘disgracefully divisive’ comments, which proved she ‘isn’t fit to be a bishop’.

He also claimed his political affiliation had led members of the clergy to ‘turn their backs when sharing the peace of Christ at the eucharist’ and that ‘there are some churches and some clergy who don’t welcome me, even in my home constituency… because I am Conservative.’ 

Gary Sambrook 

Gary Sambrook was elected MP for Birmingham Northfield in the 2019 election - but is believed to be deeply unhappy with the party leader.

Gary Sambrook was elected MP for Birmingham Northfield in the 2019 election – but is believed to be deeply unhappy with the party leader.

Gary Sambrook was elected MP for Birmingham Northfield in the 2019 election – but is believed to be deeply unhappy with the party leader.

He said: ‘The prime minister has admitted attending one of the gatherings but disputed its status as a party, and has apologised. We all will come to our own conclusions.’ 

Sambrook defeated sitting Labour MP Richard Burden, who had represented the seat since 1992.

The 32-year-old has spoken out in favour of trans rights, and wants the government to improve legal recognition for trans people.

The former Birmingham councillor is openly gay and also a proud freemason, saying it was easier to come out than admit the latter.

He spoke out after former Tory MP Sarah Wollaston asked on Twitter why ‘anyone would bother with all that claptrap if not for the chance to weasel an unfair advantage’.

But Sambrook said Freemasons did a great job for charities and its members were ordinary people – despite the ‘funny handshakes’.

‘For a long time Freemasonry has been on the receiving end of whispering, stigma and discrimination,’ he said.

‘I have never made a secret of the fact that I am a Mason, and proudly tell anyone who asks.

‘It was probably easier to come out as gay than as a Freemason. The generalisation is often of a secret society, meeting in anonymous buildings with accusations of controlling Governments and faking the moon landings.’ 

The minister

Therese Coffey 

Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, departs the Commons

Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, departs the Commons

Cabinet minister Therese Coffey, 50, is also accused of speaking out against Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Before she entered politics, she was finance director for Mars Drinks UK and property finance director for the BBC.

She was elected as MP for Suffolk Coastal, taking over from John Gummer, in 2010. She voted against the legalisation of same-sex marriage, saying she believed marriage was about family.

Boris Johnson appointed her as Work and Pensions Secretary in 2019 after the resignation of Amber Rudd, a position she retains.

Last month she strenuously denied breaking coronavirus restrictions by hosting karaoke parties at her Cabinet office in lockdown.

Red Wall assassins 

Christian Wakeford

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford is joining Labour

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford is joining Labour

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford today defected from the Conservatives to Labour, telling Boris Johnson that ‘you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves’.

He is said to have been quitting for Labour since the Autumn but allegations about the Downing St parties were the final straw.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed MP Christian Wakeford’s defection from the Tories, saying: ‘The policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.’

He was not at the ‘pork pie’ meeting but has said he has no confidence in the Prime Minister. Some exoerts are claiming that his letter still may count, despite his defection.

Before he won his Bury South seat in 2019 he was an insurance broker.

It was reported last year that he approached Owen Paterson and called him a ‘c***’ after the government instructed MPs to vote to change parliamentary sleaze rules.  

He used the expletive while full of a mixture of ‘anger’ after Mr Paterson broke lobbying rules, and codeine he received for a broken ankle.

The MP for Bury South, one of a number elected to former Labour strongholds in 2019, said he was angry at MPs being ‘marched up the hill’ to try to block Mr Paterson’s suspension.  Mr Wakeford confirmed the claim he used the C-word was true, telling Times Radio: ‘It’s been a mixture of quite a lot of anger and codeine. I clearly have a broken ankle at the moment. It’s not the best mix’.

Mark Logan

Bolton's Tory MP Mark Logan rebelled over the operation to save Owen Paterson

Bolton’s Tory MP Mark Logan rebelled over the operation to save Owen Paterson

Bolton’s Tory MP Mark Logan, who has a majority of just 378, says  he has been left ‘infuriated’ by the No 10 parties.

He said: ‘Like many of you who’ve taken the time to contact me this week. In government the prime minister sets the culture and example for the rest of the country.’ 

He began rebelling against Boris Johnson in November, choosing to abstain the controversial vote over whether to review the system for upholding standards. 

It was in relation to North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson who was found to have repeatedly breached paid lobbying rules. 

The decision by Boris Johnson to try to save Paterson’s skin and prevent him being suspended has been seen by many as the turning point of his premiership.

He said at the time: ‘I believe in the end that given the findings of the independent commission, I would not be able to vote for a motion that would overrule the findings that were laid out.

‘This is not only from the perspective of my own personal assessment of the findings, but also in relation to how just or unjust this would feel to people in Bolton’. 

Lee Anderson   

Lee Anderson refused to watch Gareth Southgate's team in the Euros because they took the knee

Lee Anderson refused to watch Gareth Southgate’s team in the Euros because they took the knee

Elected in Ashfield with a majority of 5,733 – it was just the second time the Nottinghamshire constituency has ever had a Tory MP. 

He said of the partygate scandal: ‘Personally, I would not back anyone who has knowingly done wrong.’ 

Son of a coal miner, educated at the local state and then a miner for 12 years himself he was a member of Arthur Scargill’s National Union of Mineworkers and went on strike in 1984. 

Later worked in homeless hostels before becoming office manager for the Labour MP Gloria De Piero. Frustrated with Labour’s Brexit stance, he quit in 2018 and joined the Tories.

Last year he made headlines having vowed to boycott England’s Euro 2020 games because of his opposition to players taking the knee.  

He lashed out at the players taking the knee because it was associated with the Black Lives Matter political movement, which is largely far-left.

In a video on Facebook, Mr Anderson – wearing a T-shirt with the Three Lions emblazoned on it – said it’s ‘their choice to take the knee and it’s my choice not to watch the matches’ but added he had received abuse about his position.

Before the tournament began, Mr Anderson said the FA had made a ‘big mistake’ in supporting taking the knee.

He told the Times that Black Lives Matter was a ‘Marxist organisation’, adding: ‘The FA, Premier League and footballers now run the risk of becoming like the Labour Party and that is having nothing in common with their traditional supporters.

‘All forms of racism are vile and should be stamped out, but this is not the way.

‘For the first time in my life I will not be watching my beloved England team while they are supporting a political movement whose core principles aim is to undermine our way of life.’

Antony Higginbotham

 The 32-year-old won Burnley with a majority of 1,352 – the first Tory MP in the town since 1910.

Antony Higginbotham

The 32-year-old won Burnley with a majority of 1,352 – the first Tory MP in the town since 1910. 

But with his seat under threat he said on Facebook: ‘I am as angry and disappointed as you are. 

‘This whole saga has damaged trust in politics; raised serious questions about those who were responsible for forming up the restrictions I had to vote on and we all had to live under; and made us all think about the difficult periods we’ve endured over the last two years and the sacrifices made.’ 

He is single and openly gay. His grandmother was a nurse and his mother was a trade union representative, while his father held two jobs to try to make ends meet. Single and openly gay.

Educated at the local state school and the first of his family to go to university, studying politics at Hull.

Before entering politics he worked in the NHS and then joined NatWest to help customers prepare for life after the EU. 

He claims his political outlook was inspired by his time in Lancashire’s Army Cadet Force.



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